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REFERENCE 

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YELLOW FAIRY BOOK 



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THE FAIRY BOOK SERIES. 

EDITED BY ANDREW LANG. 

Crown 8vo. gilt edges, 6s. each. 

THE BLUE FAIRY BOOK. With 138 Illustrations. 
THE EED FAIRY BOOK. With 100 Illustrations. 
THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK. With 101 Illustrations. 
THE GREY FAIRY BOOK. With G5 Illustrations. 

THE YELLOW FAIRY BOOK. With 104 Illustra- 
tions. 
THE PINK FAIRY BOOK. With G7 Illustrations. 

THE VIOLET FAIRY BOOK. With 8 Coloured 
Plates and 54 other Illustrations. 

THE CRIMSON FAIRY BOOK. With 8 Coloured 

Plates and 43 other Illustrations. 

THE BROWN FAIRY BOOK. With 8 Coloured 

Plates and 42 other Illustrations. 

THE ORANGE FAIRY BOOK. With 8 Coloured 

Plates and 50 other Illustrations. 
THE BLUE POETRY BOOK. With 100 Illustrations. 
THE TRUE STORY BOOK. With 66 Illustrations. 

THE RED TRUE STORY BOOK. With 100 Illus- 
trations. 
THE ANIMAL STORY BOOK. With 67 Illustrations. 

TrJE RED BOOK OF ANIMAL STORIES. With 

65 Illustrations. 
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENTS. 

With GG Illustrations. 
THE BOOK OF ROMANCE. With 8 Coloured Plates 

and 44 other Illustrations. 
THE RED |ROMANCE BOOK. With 8 Coloured 

Plates and 44 other Illustrations. 

LONGMANS, GREEN, & OO. 39 Paternoster Row, London; 
New York and Bombay. 



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by the Internet Archive in 2007. 

From New York Public Library. 

May be used for non-commercial, personal, research, 

or educational purposes, or any fair use. 

May not be indexed in a commercial service. 



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THE 



Yellow Fairy Book 



EDITH! BY 

AN.OILEW LANG 




WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS BY II. J. FORD 
NEW IMPRESSION 



LONGMANS, GREEN, AND GO. 

89 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON 

NEW YORK AND BOMBAY 

190G 

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dll rights reserved 



THV'r-itW YORK 

HJ T IBRARY 

ASTOR LENOX AND / 
TILOEN FOUNDATIONS 



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G27440D 



Debication 

TO 

JOAN, TODDLES, AND TINY 



Books Yellow, Red, and Green and Blue, 
All true, or just as good as true, 
And here's the Yellow Book for you ! 

Hard is the path from A to Z, 

Antl puzzling to a curly head, 

Yet leads to Books— Green, Blue, and lied. 

For every child should understand 
That letters from the first were planned 
To guido us into Fairy Land. 

So labour at your Alphabet, 

For by that learning shall you get 

To lands where Fairies may be met. 

And going where this pathway goes, 
You too, at last, may find, who knows ? 
The Garden of tho Singing Rose. 



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PREFA G E 

The Editor thinks that children will readily forgive him for 
publishing another Fairy Book. We have had the Blue, 
the Red, the Green, and here is the Yellow. If children are 
pleased, and they are so kind as to say that they are pleased, 
the Editor does not care very much for what other people may 
say. Now, there is one gentleman who seems to think that it 
is not quite right to print so many fairy tales, with pictures, and 
to publish them in red and blue covers. He is named Mr. G. 
Laurence Gomme, and he is president of a learned body called 
Lhe Folk Lore Society. Once a year he makes his address to 
his subjects, of whom the Editor is one, and Mr. Joseph Jacobs 
(who has published many delightful fairy tales with pretty 
pictures) l is another. Fancy, then, the dismay of Mr. 
Jacobs, and of the Editor, when they heard their president 
say that he did not think it very nice in them to publish fairy 
books, above all, red, green, and blue fairy books ! They said 
that they did not see any harm in it, and they were ready to 
' put themselves on their country,' and be tried by a jury of 
children. And, indeed, they still see no harm in what they 
'have done ; nay, like Father William in the poem, they are 
ready 'to do it acrain and a^aiii.'--. 

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1 You may buy them from ALr. Nutt, iu the Strand. 



s PREFACE 

Where is the harm? The truth is that the Folk Lore 
Society — made up of the most clever, learned, and beautiful 
men and women of the country — is fond of studying the history 
and geography of Fairy Land. This is contained in very old 
tales, such as country people tell, and savages : 

' Little Sioux and little Crow, 
Little frosty Eskimo.' 

These people are thought to know most about fairyland and 
its inhabitants. But, in the Yellow Fairy Book, and the rest, 
are many tales by persons who are neither savages nor rustics, 
such as Madame D'Aulnoy and Herr Hans Christian Andersen. 
The Folk Lore Society, or its president, say that their tales 
are not so true as the rest, and should not be published with 
the rest. But we say that all the stories which are pleasant 
to read are quite true enough for us ; so here they are, with 
pictures by Mr. Ford, and we do not think that either the 
pictures or the stories are likely to mislead children. 

As to whether there are really any fairies or not, that is 
a difficult question. Professor Huxley thinks there are none. 
The Editor never saw any himself, but he knows several 
people who have seen them — in the Highlands — and heard 
their music. If ever you are in Nether Lochaber, go to the 
Fairy Hill, and you may hear the music yourself, as grown-up 
people have done, but you must go on a fine day. Again, if 
there are really no fairies, why do people believe in them, all 
over the world ? The ancient Greeks believed, so did the old 
Egyptians, and the Hindoos, and the Red Indians, and is it 
likely, if there are no fairies, that so many different peoples 
would have seen and heard them ? The Rev. Mr, Baring- 
Gould saw several fairies when he was a boy, and was travelling 
in the land of the Troubadours. For these reasons, the 



PREFACE xi 

Editor thinks that there are certainly fairies, but they never 
do anyone any harm ; and, in England, they have been 
frightened away by smoke and schoolmasters. As to Giants, 
they have died out, but real Dwarfs are common hi the forests 
of Africa. Probably a good many stories not perfectly true 
have been told about fairies, but such stories have also been 
told about Napoleon, Claverhouse, Julius Caesar, and Joan of 
Arc, all of whom certainly existed. A wise child will, there- 
fore, remember that, if he grows up and becomes a member of 
the Folk Lore Society, all the tales in this book were not 
offered to him as absolutely truthful, but were printed merely 
for his entertainment. The exact facts he can learn later, or 
he can leave them alone. 

There are Eussian, German, French, Icelandic, Red Indian, 
and other stories here. They were translated by Miss Cheapc, 
Miss Alma, and Miss Thyra Alleyne, Miss Sellar, Mr. Craigie 
(he did the Icelandic tales), Miss Blackley, Mrs. Dent, and Mrs. 
Lang, but the Red Indian stories are copied from English ver- 
sions published by the Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology, 
in America. Mr. Ford did the pictures, and it is hoped that 
children will find the book not less pleasing than those which 
have already been submitted to their consideration. The 
Editor cannot say * good-bye ' without advising them, as they 
pursue their studios, to read The Bosc and tJie Bing, by the 
late Mr. Thackeray, with pictures by the author. This book 
he thinks quite indispensable in every child's library, and 
parents should be urged to purchase it at the first opportunity, 
as without it no education is complete. 

A. LANG. 



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CONTENTS 





PAGE 




J'AQE 


The Cat and the Mouse in 


The Dead Wife . 


149 


Partnership 


. 1 


In the Land of Souls . . 


152 


The Six Sivans . 


4 


The White Duck . 


155 


The Dragon of the North 


9 


The Witch and her Servants . 


101 


Story of the Emperor's Neti 




The Magic Ring . 


178 


ClotJies .... 


21 


The Floxoer Queen's Daugh- 




The Golden Grab . 


26 


ter 


192 


The Iron Stove . 


32 


The Flying Ship . 


198 


The Dragon and his Grand- 




The Snow-daughter and the 




mother 


38 


Fire-son . . . . 


200 


The Donkey Cabbage 


42 


The Story of King Frost 


209 


The Little Green Frog . 


50 


The Death of the Sun-hero . 


213 


The Seven-headed Serpent 


00 


The Witch . . . . 


210 


The Grateful Beasts 


04 


The Hazel-nut Child . . . 


222 


The Giants and the ITerd-boy 


75 


The Story of Big Klaits and 




TJte Invisible Prince . 


78 


Little Klaus 


225 


The Croio .... 


02 


Prince Ring . . . . 


237 


How Six Men travelled 




The Swineherd 


219 


through the Wide World 


05 


How to tell a True Princess . 


254 


The Wizard King . 


100 


The Blue Mountains 


250 


The Nixy .... 


108 


The Tinder-box. . . . 


205 


The Glass Mountain 


111 


The Witch in the Stoiic Boat. 


274 


Alphcgc, or the Green 




Thumbelina . . . . 


279 


Monkey .... 


119 


The Nightingale . 


291 


Fairer -tlian-a-Fairy 


120 


Ilcrmod and Iladvor . . . 


301 


The Three Brothers . 


134 


The Steadfast Tin-soldier 


308 


The Boy and the Wolves, or 




Blockhead IIa?is . . . 


3 IE 


the Broken Promise ., 
The Glass Axe PlgltlZ.ei 


138 
141 


A Story about, a Darninq- 


319 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



PLATES 



The Swineherd takes the Ten Kisses .... Frontispiece 
The Six Brothers changed into Sivans by their Step- 

mother To face page 8 

The Witch-maiden sees the Young Man under a Tree . „ 12 

' Here you shall remain chained itp until you die ' . „ 20 

The Prince throws the Apple to the Princess . . . ,, 30 

The Iron Stove „ 32 

' Standing in the doorway a charming maiden at whose 

sight his mind seemed to give way ' . . . . „ 58 

The Seven-headed Serpent „ 62 

The Mirror of the Present „ 84 

Prince Gnome learns the Name of his Rival at tlie 

Golden Fountain „ 88 

The Black Girl stops the Witch with a Bit of the Bock . „ 144 

Militza and her Maidens in the Garden . . . „ 168 

Ivmnich casts the Fish into the Water .... „ 172 
* In winter, when everything is dead, she must come and 

live with me in my palace underground ' . . . „ 196 

Simpleton's Army appears before the King .... „ 204 

Tlie Snow Maiden ,,206 

' Gee up, my five horses ' „ 226 

The Swineherd takes the Ten Kisses .... „ 250 

Tlie Irishman arrives at the Blue Mountains . . . „ 262 

The Witch comes on Board „ 274 

Sigurd hews the Chain asunder ,, 276 

Tlie King finds the Queen of Heiland . * / ♦ „ 302 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



ILLUSTBATIONS IN TEXT 



PAGE 
1 

2 

3 

3 

7 

17 



\/The Partnership 
At Home in the Church 
Protestation . 
The Way of tlie World 
1 And then her dress y 
The Youth secures the Dragon 
The Emperor comes to see his 
New Clothes 

* Let down, let down thy pet- 

ticoat that lets thy feet be 

seat ' 

The Fisherman brings the 
Crab on the Golden Cushion 

• Then she reached the three 

cutting swo?xls, and got on 

her plough-ioheel and rolled 

over them ' . . . 

The Dragon carries off the 

Three Soldiers . 
The Fiend defeated . . . 
The Maiden obtains the Bird- 

lieart 

The Hunter is transformed into 

a Donkey . . . . 
The Young Man gives the 

Donkeys to tlie Miller 
The Prince looks into the 

Magic Mirror. . . . 
Prince Saphir Steals the 

Horse and Harness 
Ferko healed by Magic 

Waters 

Ferko before the King . 
Ferko leads the Wolves on. . 
Th% Herd-boy binds up the 

QianVsFoot Digitized Sty 



24 



27 



28 



35 

39 
41 

44 

4G 

48 

51 



G7 
08 
73 



PAGE 

Rosalie 82 

In the Labyrinth of Despair . 85 

The Evil Spirits drag the Girl 
to the Cauldron . . . 93 

My Enemy is given into my 
Hands . . . .97 

The Princess and the Eagle in 
the Flowery Meadow . . 102 

The Wizard King pays a Visit 
to the Princess . . .105 

The Miller sees the Nixy of 
the Mill-pond . . . 109 

A Wave swept the Spinning- 
wheel from the Bank . .112 

The Boy attacked by the 
Eagle on the Glass Moun- 
tain 110 

The King makes Friends with 
the Green Monkey . . 121 

The Green Monkey in the 
Bath 123 

Lagree gives the Two Bottles to 
Fairer-than-a- Fairy . . 127 

Fairer -than-a- Fairy summons 
the Iiainbow . . . . 130 

* Then the youth swung his 
mighty sword in the air, 
and with one blow cut off 
the serpent's head* . . 130 

' My brother, my brother, I 
am becoming a wolf I ' . . 139 

' But the waters seized her 
chariot and sunk it in the 
loioest depths ' . 147 

The Indian finds his Wife 
sitting by the Fire . . . 150 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



The Witch persuades the 

Queen to bathe . . . 156 
The King catches tJie Wliite 

Duck 159 

Iwanich holds fast the Swan, 1G3 
Militza leaves Iwanich in the 

Tree 164 

The Prickly Man with his 

Attendants . . . .168 
Iwanich seizes the Magician 

by his Beard, and dashes 

him to the Ground . . . 176 
Martin extinguishes the 

Flames . . . .181 
The Princess summons the 

twelve Young Men . . . 186 
Schurka upsets the Baker . 187 
The Mouse steals the Ring 

from the Princess . . . 1S9 
The Dragons dancing . . 195 
The Simpleton awakes and 

sees the Flying Ship . .199 
The Comrades in the Flying 

Ship meet the Drinker . 201 
' Maiden, are you warm ? ' . 211 
The Sun-hero guards the 

Apples of the Sun . .214 
1 WJio's there V . . . 217 

The Comb grows into aFm-est 220 
The Black King's Gift . . 224 
The Farmer thinks he sees the 

Devil in the Chest . . 229 
The S1ioe?nakers and Tanners 

drive Big Klaus out of the 

Town 231 

' Open the sack? said Little 

Klaus 234 

The Woman pushes Prince 

Ring into the Cask . . 238 



Snati and Prince Ring fight 
with the Oxen . . .242 

Prince Ring and Snati over- 
throw the TrolVs Ghost . . 246 

A True Princess . . .255 

The Princess revives the Irish- 
man ..... 258 

The Soldier fills his Knapsack 
with Money . . . 267 

The Dog brings in the Prin- 
cess 269 

' He tvas skipping along so 
merrily ' . . .271 

' " Croak, croak, croak ! " was 
all he could say ' . . . 280 
i Thnmbelina rides on the 
Water-lily Leaf . . .281 

Thnmbelina brings Thistle- 
down for the Sioallow . . 285 

Thnmbelina has to spin. . 287 

' We will call you May-blossom ' 289 

The Kitchenmaid listens to 
the Nightingale . . . 293 

The Present from the Emperor 
of Japan . . . . 295 

The True Nightingale sings to 
the Emperor . . .299 

Hadvor bums the Lion's Skin 306 

1 Don't look at things tliat 
aren't intended for the likes 
of you' .... 309 

Down the Drain . . . 310 

And that was the End . .312 

' Then they oiled the comers 
of their mouths' . . . 314 

Hans fills his Pocket with the 
Mud 315 

' The reporters giggled? &c. . 317 



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THE CAT, AND THE MOUSto ' 
. IN< PABTNEBSHIP * / v' 



A CAT had made acquainiance with a mouse, *a»d„ had spoken so 
much of the great love and friendship she felt for her, that at 
last the Mouse consented to live in the 1 same house with her, and 
to go shares in the housekeeping \ But w<% must? provide for tho 
winter or else we shall suftez hunger,' safd th"e Cat. ' You, little 
Mouse, cannot venture everywhere in case you run at last into a 
trap.* This good counsel was fol- 
lowed, and a little pot of fat was 
bought. But they did not know where 
to put it. At length, after long 
consultation, the Cat said, * I know 
of no place where it could be better 
put than in the church. No one will 
trouble to take it away from there. 
Wo will hide it in a corner, and we 
won't touch it till we are in want.' 
So tho little pot was placed in safety ; 
but it was not long before the Cat had 
a groat longing for it, and said to the 

Mouse, ' I wanted to tell you, little Mouse, that my cousin has 
a little son, white with brown spots, and sho wants mo to bo god- 
mother to it. Let me go out to-day, and do you take care of the 
house alone.' 

1 Yes, go certainly,' replied the Mouse, ' and when you cat any- 
thing good, think of me ; I should very much like a drop of tho red 
christening wine.' 

But it was all untrue. The Cat had no cousin, and had not been 
asked to bo godmother. Sho went straight to the* church, slunk to 
the little pot of fat, began to lick it, and licked the top off. Then she 
took a walk on the roofs of tho town, looked at the view, stretchod 

Y. B 




THE CAT AND THE MOUSE 



herself out in the sun, and licked her lips whenever she thought of 
the little pot of fat. As soon as it was evening she went home again. 
' Ah, here you are again ! ' said the Mouse ; ( you must certainly 
have had an enjoyable day.' ^ '.' t ,' 

( It went off (T ery well,' answeier^the Cat. 
( What was the cjiild's name ? r ?sked the Mouse. 
' Top 0£f,'°sVd die Cat drily. 

'Topoff!' 'echoed the Mouse, 'it is^ndeed a wonderful and 
curious name. Is it in your family ? ' ; , « 

'What, is* ulcere odd about it ? ' said the ^ Cat. ' It is not worse 

than Br,e,adthief, as your god- 
child is called.' 

Not long after this another 
gfe'at longing came over the 
Cat. ' She said to the Mouse, 
'f You must again be kind enough 
to look after the house alone, for 
I have been asked a second time 
to stand godmother, and as this 
child has a white ring round 
its neck, I cannot refuse.' 

The kind Mouse agreed, but 
the Cat slunk under the town 
wall to the church, and ate up 
half of the pot of fat. ' Nothing tastes better,' said she, ' than what 
one eats by oneself,' and she was very much pleased with her day's 
work. When she came home the Mouse asked, ' What was this 
child called ? ' 

1 Half Gone,' answered the Cat. 

1 Halfgone ! what a name ! I have never heard it in my life. 
I don't believe it is in the calendar.' 

Soon the Cat's mouth began to water once more after her licking 
business. 'All good things in threes,' she said to the Mouse ; 'I 
have again to stand godmother. The child is quite black, and has 
very white paws, but not a single white hair on its body. This 
only happens once in two years, so you will let me go out ? ' 

1 Topoff ! Halfgone ! ' repeated the Mouse, ' they are such curious 
names ; they make me very thoughtful.' 

' Oh, you sit at home in your dark grey coat and your long tail,' 
said the Cat, ' and you get fanciful. That comes of not going out 
in the day.' Digitize 




IN PARTNERSHIP 



The Mouse had a good cleaning out while the Cat was gone, and 
made the house tidy ; but the greedy Cat ate the fat every bit up. 
' When it is all gone one can be at rest,' she said to herself, and at 
night she came home sleek and satisfied. The Mouse asked at once 
after the third child's name. 

'It won't please you any better,' said the Cat, ' he was called 
Clean Gone.' 

' Cleangone ! ' repeated the Mouse. ' I do not believe that name 
has been printed any more than the others. Cleangone ! What can 
it mean ? ' She shook her head, curled herself up, and went to sleep. 

From this time on no one asked the Cat to stand godmother: 
but when the winter came and there was nothing to be got outside, 
the Mouse remembered their provision and said, * Come, Cat, we 





will go to our pot of fat which we have stored away ; it will taste 
very good. 1 

' Yes, indeed,* answered the Cat ; ' it will taste as good to you as 
if you stretched your thin tongue ont of the window.' 

They started off, and when thoy reached it they found the pot 
in its place, but quite empty 1 

' Ah,' said the Mouse,' ' now I know what has happened 1 It ha? 
all come out ! You are a true friend to me ! You have eaten it 
all when you stood godmother ; first the top off, then half of it gone, 
then ' 

' Will you be quiet ! ' screamed the Cat. ' Another word and I will 
eat you up.' 

* Cleangone * was already on the poor Mouse's tongue, and 
scarcely was it out than the Cat made a spring at her, seized and 
swallowed her. 

You see that is the way of the world. 

b2 



THE SIX SWANS 



A KING was once hunting in a great wood, and he hunted the 
game so eagerly that none of his courtiers could follow him. 
When evening came on he stood still and looked round him, and 
he saw that he had quite lost himself. He sought a way out, but 
could find none. Then he saw an old woman with a shaking head 
coming towards him ; but she was a witch. 

4 Good woman,' he said to her, ' can you not show me the way 
out of the wood ? ' 

1 Oh, certainly, Sir King,' she replied, ' I can quite well do that, 
but on one condition, which if you do not fulfil you will never get 
out of the wood, and will die of hunger.* 

' What is the condition ? ' asked the King. 

* I have a daughter,' said the old woman, * who is so beautiful 
that she has not her equal in the world, and is well fitted to be 
your wife ; if you will make her lady-queen I will show you the 
way out of the wood.' 

The King in his anguish of mind consented, and the old woman 
led him to her little house where her daughter was sitting by the 
fire. She received the King as if she were expecting him, and he 
saw that she was certainly very beautiful ; but she did not please 
him, and he could not look at her without a secret feeling of horror. 
As soon as he had lifted the maiden on to his horse the old woman 
showed him the way, and the King reached his palace, where the 
wedding was celebrated. 

The King had already been married once, and had by his 
first wife seven children, six boys and one girl, whom he loved 
more than anything in the world. And now, because he was 
afraid that their stepmother might not treat them well and might 
do them harm, he put them in a lonely castle that stood in 
the middle of a wood. It lay so hidden, and the way to it was 
so hard to find, that he himself could not have found it out had not 



THE SIX SWANS 5 

a wise-woman given him a reel of thread which possessed a 
marvellous property: when he threw it before him it unwound 
itself and showed him the way. But the King went so often to his 
dear children that the Queen was offended at his absence. She 
grew curious, and wanted to know what he had to do quite alone 
in the wood. She gave his servants a great deal of money, and 
they betrayed the secret to her, and also told her of the reel which 
alone could point out the way. She had no rest now till she had 
found out where the King guarded the reel, and then she mado 
some little white shirts, and, as she had learnt from her witch- 
mother, sewed an enchantment in each of them. 

And when the King had ridden off she took the little shirts 
and went into the wood, and the reel showed her the way. The 
children, who saw someone coming in the distance, thought it was 
their dear father coming to them, and sprang to meet him very 
joyfully. Then she threw over each one a little shirt, which when 
it had touched their bodies changed them into swans, and they 
flew away over the forest. The Queen went home quite satisfied, 
and thought she had got rid of her step-children ; but the girl had 
not run to meet her with her brothers, and she knew nothing of 
her. 

The next day the King came to visit his children, but he found 
no one but the girl. 

' Where are your brothers ? ' asked the King. 

1 Alas ! dear father,' she answered, ' they have gone away and 
left me all alone.' And she told him that looking out of her littlo 
window she had seen her brothers Hying over tho wood in the 
shape of swans, and she showed him the feathers which they had 
let fall in tho yard, and which she had collected. The King 
mourned, but he did not think that the Queen had dono the wicked 
deed, and as ho was afraid the maiden would also be taken from 
him, ho wanted to take her with him. But sho was afraid of the 
stepmother, and begged the King to let her stay just one night 
moro in tho castle in tho wood. Tho poor maiden thought, * My 
home is no longer here ; I will go and seek my brothers.' And 
when night came she fled away into the forest. She ran all through 
the night and the next day, till sho could go no farther for weari- 
ness. Then sho saw a little hut, went in, and found a room with 
six little beds. She was afraid to lie down on one, so sho crept 
under one of them, lay on the hard floor, and was going to spend 
the night thero. But when the sun had set she heard a noise, and 



6 THE SIX SWANS 

saw six swans flying in at the window. They stood on the floor 
and blew at one another, and blew all their feathers off, and their 
swan-skin came off like a shirt. Then the maiden recognised her 
brothers, and overjoyed she crept out from under the bed. Her 
brothers were not less delighted than she to see their little sister 
again, but their joy did not last long. 

' You cannot stay here,' they said to her. ' This is a den of 
robbers ; if they were to come here and find you they would kill 
you.' 

' Could you not protect me ? ' asked the little sister. 

'No,' they answered, ' for we can only lay aside our swan skins 
for a quarter of an hour every evening. For this time we regain 
our human forms, but then we are changed into swans again.' 

Then the little sister cried and said, ' Can you not be freed ? ' 

'Oh, no,' they said, ' the conditions are too hard. You must not 
speak or laugh for six years, and must make in that time six shirts 
for us out of star-flowers. If a single word comes out of your 
mouth, all your labour is vain.' And when the brothers had said 
this the quarter of an hour came to an end, and they flew away 
out of the window as swans. 

But the maiden had determined to free her brothers even if it 
should cost her her life. She left the hut, went into the forest, 
climbed a tree, and spent the night there. The next morning she 
went out, collected star-flowers, and began to sew. She could speak 
to no one, and she had no wish to laugh, so she sat there, looking 
only at her work. 

When she had lived there some time, it happened that the King 
of the country was hunting in the forest, and his hunters came to 
the tree on which the maiden sat. They called to her and said 
' Who are yon ? ' 

But she gave no answer. 

' Come down to us,' they said, 'we will do you no harm.' 

But she shook her head silently. As they pressed her further 
with questions, she threw them the golden chain from her neck. 
But they did not leave off, and she threw them her girdle, and 
when this was no use, her garters, and then her dress. The hunts- 
men would not leave her alone, but climbed the tree, lifted the 
maiden down, and led her to the King. The King asked, ' Who are 
you ? What are you doing up that tree ? ' 

But she answered nothing. 

He asked her in all the languages he knew, but she remained 



THE SIX SWANS 



as dumb as a fish. Because she was so beautiful, however, the 
King's heart was touched, and he was seized with a great love for 
her. He wrapped her up in his cloak, placed her before him on 
his horse, and brought her 
to his castle. There he 
had her dressed in rich 
clothes, and her beauty 
shone out as bright as 
day, but not a word could 
be drawn from her. He 
set her at table by his 
side, and her modest ways 
and behaviour pleased him 
so much that he said, * I 
will marry this maiden 
and none other in the 
world,' and after some 
days he married her. But 
the lung had a wicked 
mother who was dis- 
pleased with the mar- 
riage, and said wicked 
things of the young Queen. 
' Who knows who this 
girl is ? ' she said ; 'she 
cannot speak, and is not 
worthy of a king.' 

After a year, when the 
Queen had her first child, 
the old mother took it 
away from her. Then she 
went to the King and said 
that the Queen had killed 
it. The King would not 
believe it, and would not 
allow any harm to bo dono 
her. But she sat quietly 

sewing at the shirts and troubling herself about nothing. The next 
time she had a child the wicked mother did the same thing, but the 
King could not make up his mind to believe her. He said, 4 She is 
too sweet and good to do such a thing as tliat. 3f she were not dumb 




[ And then her dress ' 



8 THE SIX SWANS 

and could defend herself, her innocence would be proved.' But 
when the third child was taken away, and the Queen was again 
accused, and could not utter a word in her own defence, the King 
was obliged to give her over to the law, which decreed that she 
must be burnt to death. "When the day came on which the sentence 
was to be executed, it was the last day of the six years in which 
she must not speak or laugh, and now she had freed her dear 
brothers from the power of the enchantment. The six shirts were 
done ; there was only the left sleeve wanting to the last. 

When she was led to the stake, she laid the shirts on her arm, 
and as she stood on the pile and the fire was about to be lighted, 
she looked around her and saw six swans flying through the air. 
Then she knew that her release was at hand and her heart danced 
for joy. The swans fluttered round her, and hovered. low so that 
she could throw the shirts over them. When they had touched 
them the swan-skins fell off, and her brothers stood before her 
living, well and beautiful. Only the youngest had a swan's wing 
instead of his left arm. They embraced and kissed each other, and 
the Queen went to the King, who was standing by in great as- 
tonishment, and began to speak to him, saying, 'Dearest husband, 
now I can speak and tell you openly that I am innocent and have 
been falsely accused.' 

She told him of the old woman's deceit, and how she had taken 
the three children away and hidden them. Then they were fetched, 
to the great joy of the King, and the wicked mother came to no good 
end. 

But the King and the Queen with their six brothers lived many 
years in happiness and peace. 



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^f Che. Six. B^ptHeKS ChMnSecL ^ 
Into Stj3ins by Gheirt — _ 

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THE DBAGON OF THE NOBTH' 



VERY long ago, as old people have told me, there lived a terrible 
monster, who came out of the North, and laid waste whole 
tracts of country, devouring both men and beasts ; and this monster 
was so destructive that it was feared that unless help came no 
living creature would be left on the face of the earth. It had a 
body like an ox, and legs like a frog, two short fore-legs, and two 
long ones behind, and besides that it had a tail like a serpent, ten 
fathoms in length. When it moved it jumped like a frog, and with 
every spring it covered half a mile of ground. Fortunately its 
habit was to remain for several years in the same place, and not to 
move on till the whole neighbourhood was eaten up. Nothing 
could hunt it, because its whole body was covered with scales, 
which were harder than stone or metal ; its two great eyes shono 
by night, and even by day, like the brightest lamps, and anyone 
who had the ill luck to look into those eyes became as it were 
bewitched, and was obliged to rush of his own accord into the 
monster's jaws. In this way the Dragon was able to feed upon 
both men and beasts without the least trouble to itself, as it needed 
not to move from the spot where it was lying. All the neighbouring 
kings had offered rich rewards to anyone who should be able to 
destroy the monster, either by force or enchantment, and many 
had tried their luck, but all had miserably failed. Once a great 
forest in which the Dragon lay had been set on fire ; the forest was 
burnt down, but the fire did not do the monster tho least harm. 
However, there was a tradition amongst the wise men of tho coun- 
try that the Dragon might be overcome by one who possessed King 
Solomon's signet-ring, upon which a secret writing was engraved. 
This inscription would enable anyone who was wise enough to 
interpret it to find out how the Dragon could be destroyed. Only 
no one knew where the ring was hidden, nor was there any sorcerer 

fy, • 'i • ^ m tiMS** * -%**£4- /6\ 

1 *Der Norlands Draobe/ from EUhnische Mahrchen. Kreutzwald. 



10 THE DBAGON OF THE NORTH 

or learned man to be found who would be able to explain the 
inscription. 

At last a young man, with a good heart and plenty of courage, 
set out to search for the ring. He took his way towards the sun- 
rising, because he knew that all the wisdom of old time comes 
from the East. After some years he met with a famous "Eastern 
magician, and asked for his advice in the matter. The magician 
answered : 

1 Mortal men have but little wisdom, and can give you no help, 
but the birds of the air would be better guides to you if you could 
learn their language. I can help you to understand it if you will 
stay with me a few days.' 

The youth thankfully accepted the magician's offer, and said, 
' I cannot now offer you any reward for your kindness, but should 
my undertaking succeed your trouble shall be richly repaid.' 

Then the magician brewed a powerful potion out of nine sorts 
of herbs which he had gathered himself all alone by moonlight, 
and he gave the youth nine spoonfuls of it daily for three days, 
which made him able to understand the language of birds. 

At parting the magician said to him, * If you ever find Solomon's 
ring and get possession of it, then come back to me, that I may 
explain the inscription on the ring to you, for there is no one else 
in the world who can do this/ 

From that time the youth never felt lonely as he walked along ; 
he always had company, because he understood the language of 
birds ; and in this way he learned many things which mere human 
knowledge could never have taught him. But time went on, and 
he hpard nothing about the ring. It happened one evening, when 
he was hot and tired with walking, and had sat down under a tree 
in a forest to eat his supper, that he saw two gaily-plumaged birds, 
that were strange to him, sitting at the top of the tree talking to 
one another about him. The first bird said : 

' I know that wandering fool under the tree there, who has 
come so far without finding what he seeks. He is trying to find 
King Solomon's lost ring.' 

The other bird answered, * He will have to seek help from the 
Witch-maiden, 1 who will doubtless be able to put him on the right 
track. If she has not got the ring herself, she knows well enough 
who has it.' 

' But where is he to find the Witch-maiden ? ' said the first 
1 Hbllenmiidclien. 



THE DBAGON OF TEE NORTH 11 

bird. ' She has no settled dwelling, but is here to-day and gone 
to-morrow. He might as well try to catch the wind.' 

The other replied, ' I do not know, certainly, where she is at 
present, but in three nights from now she will come to the spring 
to wash her face, as she does every month when the moon is full, 
in order that she may never grow old nor wrinkled, but may always 
keep the bloom of youth.' 

1 Well,' said the first bird, * the spring is not far from here. 
Shall we go and see how it is she does it ? ' 

' Willingly, if yon like,' said the other. 

The youth immediately resolved to follow the birds to the spring, 
only two things made him uneasy : first, lest he might be asleep 
when the birds went, and secondly, lest he might lose sight of them, 
since he had not wings to carry him along so swiftly. He was too 
tired to keep awake all night, yet his anxiety prevented him from 
sleeping soundly, and when with the earliest dawn he looked up to 
the tree-top, he was glad to see his feathered companions still 
asleep with their heads under their wings. He ate his breakfast, 
and waited until the birds should start, but they did not leave the 
place all day. They hopped about from one tree to another looking 
for food, all day long until the evening, when they went back to 
their old perch to sleep. The next day the same thing happened, 
but on the third morning one bird said to the other, ' To-day we 
must go to the spring to see the Witch-maiden wash her face.' 
They remained on the tree till noon ; then they Hew away and went 
towards the south. The young man's heart beat with anxiety lest 
he should lose sight of his guides, but he managed to keep the 
birds in view until they again perched upon a tree. The young 
man ran after them until he was quite exhausted and out of breath, 
and after three short rests the birds at length reached a small open 
space in the forest, on the edge of which they placed themselves on 
the top of a high tree. When the youth had overtaken them, ho 
saw that there was a clear spring in the middle of the space. Ho 
sat down at the foot of the tree upon which the birds were perched, 
and listened attentively to what they were saying to each other. 

* The sun is not down yet,' said the first bird ; ' we must wait 
yet awhile till the moon rises and tho maiden comes to the spring. 
Do you think she will see that young man sitting under the tree ? ' 

Nothing is likely to escape her eyes, certainly not a young man, 
said tho other bird. ( Will the youth have tho sense not to let him- 
self bo caught in her toils ? * 



12 THE DBAGON OF THE NORTH 

{ We will wait,' said the first bird, { and see how they get on 
together.' 

The evening light had quite faded, and the full moon was 
already shining down upon the forest, when the young man heard 
a slight rustling sound. After a few moments there came out of 
the forest a maiden, gliding over the grass so lightly that her feet 
seemed scarcely to touch the ground, and stood beside the spring. 
The youth could not turn away his eyes from the maiden, for he 
had never in his life seen a woman so beautiful. Withoiit seeming 
to notice anything, she went to the spring, looked up to the full 
moon, then knelt down and bathed her face nine times, then looked 
up to the moon again and walked nine times round the well, and 
as she walked she sang this song : 

{ Full-faced moon with light unshaded, 
Let my beauty ne'er be faded. 
Never let my cheek grow pale ! 
While the moon is waning nightly, 
May the maiden bloom more brightly, 
May her freshness never fail 1 ' 

Then she dried her face with her long hair, and was about to 
go away, when her eye suddenly fell upon the spot where the young 
man was sitting, and she turned towards the tree. The youth rose 
and stood waiting. Then the maiden said, ' You ought to have a 
heavy punishment becaiise you have presumed to watch my secret 
doings in the moonlight. But I will forgive you this time, because 
you are a stranger and knew no better. But you must tell me 
truly who you are and how you came to this place, where no mortal 
has ever set foot before.' 

The youth answered humbly : ' Forgive me, beaiitiful maiden, 
if I have unintentionally offended you. I chanced to come here 
after long wandering, and found a good place to sleep under this 
tree. At your coming I did not know what to do, but stayed where 
I was, becaiise I thoiight my silent watching could not offend you.' 

The maiden answered kindly, ' Come and spend this night with 
us. You will sleep better on a pillow than on damp moss.' 

The youth hesitated for a little, but presently he heard the birds 

saying from the top of the tree, ( Go where she calls you, but take 

care to give no blood, or you will sell your soul.' So the youth 

went with her, and soon they reached a beautiful garden, where 
UJyniZ&uuy IVHCfuSUTT &> ° 




THE WITCH-MAIDEN SEES THE YOTOO M.VN UNDER A TREE 

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Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE LB AGON OF THE NORTH 13 

stood a splendid house, which glittered in the moonlight as if it 
was all built out of gold and silver. When the youth entered he 
found many splendid chambeis, each one finer than the last. 
Hundreds of tapers burnt upon golden candlesticks, and shed a 
light like the brightest day. At length they reached a chamber 
where a table was spread with the most costly dishes. At the 
table were placed two chairs, one of silver, the other of gold. The 
maiden seated herself upon the golden chair, and offered the silver 
one to her companion. They were served by maidens dressed in 
white, whose feet made no sound as they moved about, and not a 
word was spoken during the meal. Afterwards the youth and the 
Witch-maiden conversed pleasantly together, until a woman, dressed 
in red, came in to remind them that it was bedtime. The youth 
was now shown into another room, containing a silken bed with 
down cushions, where he slept delightfully, yet he seemed to hear 
a voice near his bed which repeated to him, ' Remember to give no 
blood 1 ' 

The next morning the maiden asked him whether he would not 
like to stay with her always in this beautiful place, and as he did 
not answer immediately, she continued : ' You see how I always 
remain young and beautiful, and I am under no one's orders, but 
can do just what I like, so that I have never thought of marrying 
before. But from the moment I saw 3 T ou I took a faucy to you, so 
if you agree, we might be married and might live together liko 
princes, because I have great riches.' 

The youth could not but be tempted with the beautiful maiden's 
offer, but he remembered how the birds had called her the witch, 
and their warning always sounded in his ears. Therefore he an- 
swered cautiously, 'Do not be angry, dear maiden, if I do not decide 
immediately on this important matter. Givo me a few days to, 
consider before we come to an understanding.' 

' Why not ? ' answered the maiden. ' Take some weeks to con- 
sider if you like, and take counsel with your own heart.' And to 
make the time pass pleasantly, she took tho youth over every part 
of her beautiful dwelling, and showed him all her splendid treasures. 
But these treasures were all produced by enchantment, for the 
maiden could make anything she wished appear by tho help of 
King Solomon's signet ring ; only none of these things remained 
fixed ; they passed away like the wind without leaving a trace be- 
hind. But tho youth did not know this ; he thought they wero all 

real. Digitized by Midrosorm) 



14 THE DBAGON OF THE NOBTH 

One day the maiden took hirn into a secret chamber, where a 
little gold box was standing on a silver table. Pointing to the box, 
she said, ' Here is my greatest treasure, whose like is not to be 
found in the whole world. It is a precious gold ring. When you 
marry me, I will give you this ring as a marriage gift, and it will 
make you the happiest of mortal men. But in order that our love 
may last for ever, you must give me for the ring three drops of 
blood from the little finger of your left hand.' 

When the youth heard these words a cold shudder ran over him, 
for he remembered that his soul was at stake. He was cunning 
enough, however, to conceal his feelings and to make no direct 
answer, but he only asked the maiden, as if carelessly, what was re- 
markable abont the ring ? 

She answered, ' No mortal is able entirely to understand the 
power of this ring, because no one thoroughly understands the secret 
signs engraved upon it. But even with my half-knowledge I can 
work great wonders. If I put the ring upon the little finger of my 
left hand, then I can fly like a bird through the air wherever I wish 
to go. If I put it on the third finger of my left hand I am invisible, 
and I can see everything that passes around me, though no one can 
see me. If I put the ring upon the middle finger of my left hand, 
then neither fire nor water nor any sharp weapon can hurt me. If 
I put it on the forefinger of my left hand, then I can with its help 
produce whatever I wish. I can in a single moment build houses 
or anything I desire. Finally, as long as I wear the ring on the 
thumb of my left hand, that hand is so strong that it can break 
down rocks and walls. Besides these, the ring has other secret 
signs which, as I said, no one can understand. No doubt it contains 
secrets of great importance. The ring formerly belonged to King 
Solomon, the wisest of kings, during whose reign the wisest men 
lived. But it is not known whether this ring was ever made by mortal 
hands : it is supposed that an angel gave it to the wise King.' 

When the youth heard all this he determined to try and get 
possession of the ring, though he did not quite believe in all its 
wonderful gifts. He wished the maiden would let him have it in 
his hand, but he did not quite like to ask her to do so, and after a 
while she put it back into the box. A few days after they were 
again speaking of the magic ring, and the youth said, * I do not 
think it possible that the ring can have all the power you say it 
has.' 

Then the maiden opened the box and took the ring out, and it 



THE DRAGON OF THE NOBTH 15 

glittered as she held it like the clearest sunbeam. She put it on 
the middle finger of her left hand, and told the youth to take a 
knife and try as hard as he could to cut her with it, for he would 
not be able to hurt her. He was unwilling at first, but the maiden 
insisted. Then he tried, at first only in play, and then seriously, to 
strike her with the knife, but an invisible wall of iron seemed to be 
between them, and the maiden stood before him laughing and un- 
hurt. Then she put the ring on her third finger, and in an instant 
she had vanished from his eyes. Presently she Avas beside him 
again laughing, and holding the ring between her fingers. 

' Do let me try,' said the youth, ' whether I can do these won- 
derful things.' 

The maiden, suspecting no treachery, gave him the magic ring. 

The youth pretended to have forgotten what to do, and asked 
what finger he must put the ring on so that no sharp weapon could 
hurt him ? ' 

' Oh, the middle finger of your left hand,' the maiden answered, 
laughing. 

She took the knife and tried to strike the youth, and he even 
tried to cut himself with it, but found it impossible. Then he asked 
the maiden to show him how to split stones and rocks with the 
help of the ring. So she led him into a courtyard where stood a 
great boulder-stone. * Now,' she said, ' put the ring upon the thumb 
of your left hand, and you will see how strong that hand has be- 
come. The youth did so, and found to his astonishment that with 
a single blow of his fist the stone flew into a thousand pieces. Then 
the youth bethought him that he who does not use his luck when 
he has it is a fool, and that this was a chance which once lost might 
never return. So while they stood laughing at the shattered stono 
he placed the ring, as if in play, upon the third linger of his left 
hand. 

1 Now,' said the maiden, ' you aro invisible to mo until you tako 
the ring off again.' 

But the youth had no mind to do that ; on the contrary, he went 
farther off, then put the ring on the little finger of his left hand, 
and soared into the air like a bird. 

"When the maiden saw him flying away she thought at first that 
he was still in play, and cried, ' Como back, friend, for now you see 
I hav^e told you the truth.' But tho young man never camo back. 

Then the maiden saw she was deceived, and bitterly repented 
that she had ever trusted him with the ring. 

o2 



16 TEE DRAGON OF THE NOBTH 

The young man never halted in his flight until he reached the 
dwelling of the wise magician who had taught him the speech of 
birds. The magician was delighted to find that his search had been 
successful, and at once set to work to interpret the secret signs en- 
graved upon the ring, but it took him seven weeks to make them 
out clearly. Then he gave the youth the following instructions 
how to overcome the Dragon of the North : ' You must have an 
iron horse cast, which must have little wheels under each foot. 
You must also be armed with a spear two fathoms long, which you 
will be able to wield by means of the magic ring upon your left 
thumb. The spear must be as thick in the middle as a large tree, 
and both its ends must be sharp. In the middle of the spear you 
must have two strong chains ten fathoms in length. As soon as the 
Dragon has made himself fast to the spear, which you must thrust 
through his jaws, you must spring quickly from the iron horse and 
fasten the ends of the chains firmly to the ground with iron stakes, 
so that he cannot get away from them. After two or three days 
the monster's strength will be so far exhausted that you will be able 
to come near him. Then you can put Solomon's ring upon your 
left thumb and give him the finishing stroke, but keep the ring on 
your third finger until you have come close to him, so that the 
monster cannot see you, else he might strike you dead with his 
long tail. But when all is done, take care you do not lose the ring, 
and that no one takes it from you by cunning.' 

The young man thanked the magician for his directions, and 
promised, should they succeed, to reward him. But the magician 
answered, ' I have profited so much by the wisdom the ring has 
taught me that I desire no other reward.' Then they parted, and 
the youth quickly flew home through the air. After remaining in 
his own home for some weeks, he heard people say that the terrible 
Dragon of the North was not far off, and might shortly be expected 
in the country. The King announced publicly that he would give 
his daughter in marriage, as well as a large part of his kingdom, to 
whosoever should free the country from the monster. The youth 
then went to the King and told him that he had good hopes of 
subduing the Dragon, if the King would grant him all he desired 
for the purpose. The King willingly agreed, and the iron horse, 
the great spear, and the chains were all prepared as the youth re- 
quested. "When all was ready, it was found that the iron horse 
was so heavy that a hundred men could not move it from the spot, 
so the youth found there was nothing for it but to move it with his 



THE DRAGON OF THE NORTH 



17 



own strength by means of the magic ring. The Dragon was now 
so near that in a couple of springs he would be over the frontier. 
The youth now began to consider how he should act, for if he had 




The youth secures the dragon 



to push the iron horse from behind he could not ride upon it as the 
sorcerer had said ho must. But a raven unexpectedly gave him 
this advice : ' Ride- upon the horse, and push the spear against the 



IB THE DRAGON OF THE NORTH 

ground, as if you were pushing off a boat from the land.' The 
youth did so, and found that in this way he could easily move for- 
wards. The Dragon had his monstrous jaws wide open, all ready 
for his expected prey. A few paces nearer, and man and horse 
would have been swallowed up by them ! The youth trembled 
with horror, and his blood ran cold, yet he did not lose his courage ; 
but, holding the iron spear upright in his hand, he brought it down 
with all his might right through the monster's lower jaw. Then 
quick as lightning he sprang from his horse before the Dragon had 
time to shut his mouth. A fearful clap like thunder, which could 
be heard for miles around, now warned him that the Dragon's jaws 
had closed upon the spear. When the youth turned round he saw 
the point of the spear sticking up high above the Dragon's upper 
jaw, and knew that the other end must be fastened firmly to the 
ground ; but the Dragon had got his teeth fixed in the iron horse, 
which was now useless. The youth now hastened to fasten down 
the chains to the ground by means of the enormous iron pegs 
which he had provided. The death struggle of the monster lasted 
three days and three nights ; in his writhing he beat his tail so 
violently against the ground, that at ten miles' distance the earth 
trembled as if with an earthquake. When he at length lost power 
to move his tail, the youth with the help of the ring took up a 
stone which twenty ordinary men could not have moved, and beat 
the Dragon so hard about the head with it that very soon the 
monster lay lifeless before him. 

You can fancy how great was the rejoicing when the news was 
spread abroad that the terrible monster was dead. His conqueror 
was received into the city with as much pomp as if he had been 
the mightiest of kings. The old King did not need to urge his 
daughter to marry the slayer of the Dragon ; he found her already 
willing to bestow her hand upon this hero, who had done all alone 
what whole armies had tried in vain to do. In a few days a mag- 
nificent wedding was celebrated, at which the rejoicings lasted four 
whole weeks, for all the neighbouring kings had met together to 
thank the man who had freed the world from their common enemy. 
But everyone forgot amid the general joy that they oxight to have 
buried the Dragon's monstrous body, for it began now to have such 
a bad smell that no one could live in the neighbourhood, and before 
long the whole air was poisoned, and a pestilence broke out which 
destroyed many hundreds of people. In this distress, the King's 
son-in-law resolved to seek help once more from the Eastern 



THE DRAGON OF THE NORTH 19 

magician, to whom he at once travelled through the air like a bird 
by the help of the ring. But there is a proverb which says that 
ill-gotten gains never prosper, and the Prince found that the stolen 
ring brought him ill-luck after all. The Witch-maiden had never 
rested night nor day until she had found out where the ring was. 
As soon as she had discovered by means of magical arts that the 
Prince in the form of a bird was on his way to the Eastern magician, 
she changed herself into an eagle and watched in the air until the 
bird she was waiting for came in sight, for she knew him at once 
by the ring which was hung round his neck by a ribbon. Then 
the eagle pounced upon the bird, and the moment she seized him 
in her talons she tore the ring from his neck before the man in 
bird's shape had time to prevent her. Then the eagle Hew down 
to the earth with her prey, and the two stood face to faco once 
more in human form. 

4 Now, villain, you are in my power ! ' cried the Witch-maiden. 
1 1 favoured you with my love, and you repaid me with treachery 
and theft. You stole my most precious jewel from me, and do you 
expect to live happily as the King's son-in-law ? Now the tables 
are turned ; you are in my pow T er, and I will be revenged on you for 
your crimes.' 

' Forgive me ! forgive me ! ' cried the Prince ; ' I know too well 
how deeply I have wronged you, and most heartily do I repent it.' 

The maiden answered, * Your prayers and your repentance come 
too late, and if I were to spare you everyone would think me a fool. 
You have doubly wronged me ; first you scorned my love, and then 
you stole my ring, and you must bear the punishment.' 

With these words she put the ring upon her left thumb, lifted 
the young man with one hand, and walked away with him under 
her arm. This time she did not take him to a splendid palace, but 
to a deep cave in a rock, whero there were chains hanging from 
the wall. The maiden now chained tho young man's hands and 
feet so that he could not escape ; then she said in an angry voice, 
* Here you shall remain chained up until you die. I will bring 
you every day enough food to prevent you dying of hunger, but 
you need never hopo for freedom any more.' With these words 
she left him. 

The old King and his daughter waited anxiously for many 
weeks for the Prince's return, but no news of him arrived. Tho 
King's daughter often dreamed that her husband was going through 
Borne great suffering ; she therefore begged her father to summon 



20 THE DBAGON OF THE NORTH 

all the enchanters and magicians, that they might try to find out 
where the Prince was and how he could be set free. But the 
magicians, with all their arts, could find out nothing, except that he 
was still living and undergoing great suffering ; but none could tell 
where he was to be found. At last a celebrated magician from 
Finland was brought before the King, who had found out that the 
King's son-in-law was imprisoned in the East, not by men, but by 
some more powerful being. The King now sent messengers to the 
East to look for his son-in-law, and they by good luck met with 
the old magician who had interpreted the signs on King Solomon's 
ring, and thus was possessed of more wisdom than anyone else in 
the world. The magician soon found out what he wished to know, 
and pointed out the place where the Prince was imprisoned, but 
said : ' He is kept there by enchantment, and cannot be set free 
without my help. I will therefore go with you myself.' 

So they all set out, guided by birds, and after some days came 
to the cave where the unfortunate Prince had been chained up for 
nearly seven years. He recognised the magician immediately, but 
the old man did not know him, he had grown so thin. However, 
he undid the chains by the help of magic, and took care of the 
Prince until he recovered and became strong enough to travel. 
When he reached home he found that the old King had died that 
morning, so that he was now raised to the throne. And now after 
his long suffering came prosperity, which lasted to the end of his 
life ; but he never got back the magic ring, nor has it ever again 
been seen by mortal eyes. 

Now, if you had been the Prince, would you not rather have 
stayed with the pretty witch -maiden ? 



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•UERK \*0U SIIALL REMAIN C1IAINE1> UP US TIE YOU DIE ' 

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Digitized by Microsoft ® 



21 



STOBY OF 
THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES' 

1\ FANY years ago there lived an Emperor who was so fond of new 
-"■*■ clothes that he spent all his money on them in order to be 
beautifully dressed. He did not care about his soldiers, he did not 
care about the theatre ; he only liked to go out walking to show 
off his new clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day ; and 
just as they say of a king, ' He is in the council-chamber,' they 
always said here, ' The Emperor is in the wardrobe.' 

In the great city in which he lived there was always something 
going on ; every day many strangers came there. One day two 
impostors arrived who gave themselves out as weavers, and said 
that they knew how to manufacture the most beautiful cloth 
imaginable. Not only were the texture and pattern uncommonly 
beautiful, but the clothes which were made of the stuff possessed 
this wonderful property that they were invisible to anyone who was 
not fit for his office, or who was unpardonably stupid. 

' Those must indeed be splendid clothes,' thought the Emperor. 
' If I had them on I could find out which men in my kingdom are 
unfit for the offices they hold ; I could distinguish the wise from 
the stupid ! Yes, this cloth must be woven for me at once.' And 
he gave both the impostors much money, so that they might begin 
their work. 

They placed two weaving-looms, and began to do as if they 
were working, but they had not the least thing on the looms. They 
also demanded tho finest silk and tho best gold, which they put in 
their pockets, and worked at the empty looms till late into the 
night. 

' I should like very much to know how far they have got on 
with the cloth,' thought the Emperor. But he remembered when 
he thought about it that whoever was stupid or not fit for his office 
would not be able to see it. Now he certainly believed that he had 

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22 STORY OF TEE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES 

nothing to fear for himself, but he wanted first to send somebody 
else in order to see how he stood with regard to his office. Every- 
body in the whole town knew what a wonderful power the cloth 
had, and they were all curious to see how bad or how stupid 
their neighbour was. 

' I will send my old and honoured minister to the weavers,' 
thought the Emperor. ' He can judge best what the cloth is like, for 
he has intellect, and no one understands his office better than he.' 

Now the good old minister went into the hall where the two 
impostors sat working at the empty weaving -looms. ' Dear me I ' 
thought the old minister, opening his eyes wide, ( I can see no- 
thing ! ' But he did not say so. 

Both the impostors begged him to be so kind as to step closer, 
and asked him if it were not a beautiful texture and lovely colours. 
They pointed to the empty loom, and the poor old minister went 
forward rubbing his eyes ; but he could see nothing, for there was 
nothing there. 

'Dear, dear!' thought he, ' can I be stupid? I have never 
thought that, and nobody must know it ! Can I be not fit for my 
office ? No, I must certainly not say that I cannot see the cloth ! ' 

' Have you nothing to say about it ? ' asked one of the men who 
was weaving. 

1 Oh, it is lovely, most lovely ! ' answered the old minister, look- 
ing through his spectacles. ' What a texture ! "What colours ! 
Yes, I will tell the Emperor that it pleases me very much/ 

' Now we are delighted at that,' said both the weavers, and 
thereupon they named the colours and explained the make of the 
texture. 

The old minister paid great attention, so that he could tell the 
same to the Emperor when he came back to him, which he did. 

The impostors now wanted more money, more silk, and more 
gold to use in their weaving. They put it all in their own pockets, 
and there came no threads on the loom, but they went on as they 
had done before, working at the empty loom. The Emperor soon 
sent another worthy statesman to see how the weaving was getting 
on, and whether the cloth would soon be finished. It was the 
same with him as the first one ; he looked and looked, but because 
there was nothing on the empty loom he could see nothing. 

' Is it not a beautiful piece of cloth ? ' asked the two impostors, 
and they pointed to and described the splendid material which was 
not there. 



STORY OF THE EMPERORS NEW CLOTHES 23 

* Stupid I am not ! ' thought the man, ' so it must be my good 
office for which I am not fitted. It is strange, certainly, but no 
one must be allowed to notice it.' And so he praised the eloth 
which he did not see, and expressed to them his delight at the 
beautiful colours and the splendid texture. * Yes, it is quite beau- 
tiful,' he said to the Emperor. 

Everybody in the town was talking of the magnificent cloth. 

Now the Emperor wanted to see it himself while it was still on 
the loom. With a great crowd of select followers, amongst whom 
were both the worthy statesmen who had already been there be- 
fore, he went to the eunning impostors, who were now weaving 
with all their might, but without fibre or thread. 

* Is it not splendid ! ' said both the old statesmen who had 
already been there. * See, your Majesty, what a texture ! What 
colours ! ' And then they pointed to the empty loom, for they 
believed that the others could see the cloth quite well. 

' What ! ' thought the Emperor, ' I ean see nothing ! This is 
indeed horrible ! Am I stupid ? Am I not fit to be Emperor ? 
That were the most dreadful thing that could happen to me. Oh, 
it is very beautiful,' he said. ' It has my gracious approval.' And 
then he nodded pleasantly, and examined the empty loom, for he 
would not say that he could see nothing. 

His whole Court round him looked and looked, and saw no more 
than the others ; but they said like the Emperor, ' Oh ! it is beauti- 
ful ! ' And they advised him to wear these new and magnificent 
clothes for the first time at the great procession which was soon 
to take place. ' Splendid 1 Lovely 1 Most beautiful ! ' went from 
mouth to mouth ; everyone seemed delighted over them, and the 
Emperor gave to the impostors the title of Court weavers to the 
Emperor. 

Throughout the whole of the night before the morning on which 
the procession was to take place, the impostors were up and were 
working by the light of over sixteen candles. The people could 
see that they were very busy making the Emperor's now clothes 
ready. They pretended they were taking the cloth from the loom, 
cut with huge scissors in the air, sewed with needles without thread, 
and then said at last, ' Now the clothes are finished ! ' 

The Emperor came himself with his most distinguished knights, 
and each impostor held up his arm just as if he were holding some- 

Si::;?;^Jrr ra the breechosl nero is tIieeoat! 



24 STOBY OF THE EMPERORS NEW CLOTHES 

1 Spun clothes are so comfortable that one would imagine one 
had nothing on at all ; but that is the beauty of it ! ' 

1 Yes,' said all the knights, but they could see nothing, for there 
was nothing there. 

4 Will it please your Majesty graciously to take off your clothes,' 




The Emperor comes to see his new clothes 



said the impostors, 'then we will put on the new clothes, here 
before the mirror.' 

The Emperor took off all his clothes, and the impostors placed 
themselves before him as if they were putting on each part of his 
new clothes which was ready, and the Emperor turned and bent 
himself in front of the mirror. 



STORY OF THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES 25 

' How beautifully they fit ! How well they sit ! ' said every- 
body. ' What material ! What colours ! It is a gorgeous suit ! ' 

' They are waiting outside with the canopy which your Majesty 
is wont to have borne over you in the procession,' announced the 
Master of the Ceremonies. 

' Look, I am ready,' said the Emperor. * Doesn't it sit well I ' 
And he turned himself again to the mirror to see if his finery was 
on all right. 

The chamberlains who were used to carry the train put their 
hands near the floor as if they were lifting up the train ; then they 
did as if they were holding something in the air. They would not 
have it noticed that they could see nothing. 

So the Emperor went along in the procession under the splendid 
canopy, and all the people in the streets and at the windows said, 
' How matchless are the Emperor's new clothes ! That train fas- 
tened to his dress, how beautifully it hangs ! ' 

No one wished it to be noticed that he could see nothing, for 
then he would have been unfit for his office, or else very stupid. 
None of the Emperor's clothes had met with such approval as 
these had. 

( But he has nothing on ! ' said a little child at last. 

'Just listen to the innocent child!' said the father, and each 
one whispered to his neighbour what the child had said. 

* But he has nothing on ! ' the whole of the people called out at 
last. 

This struck the Emperor, for it seemed to him as if they were 
right ; but he thought to himself, ' I must go on with the procession 
now.' And the chamberlains walked along still more uprightly, 
holding up the train which was not there at all. 



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26 



THE GOLDEN GBAB 



ONCE upon a time there was a fisherman who had a wife and 
three children. Every morning he used to go out fishing, and 
whatever fish he caught he sold to the King. One day, among the 
other fishes, he caught a golden crab. When he came home he 
put all the fishes together into a great dish, but he kept the Crab 
separate because it shone so beautifully, and placed it upon a high 
shelf in the cupboard. Now while the old woman, his wife, was 
cleaning the fish, and had tucked up her gown so that her feet were 
visible, she suddenly heard a voice, which said : 

* Let down, let down thy petticoat 
That lets thy feet be seen.' 

She turned round in surprise, and then she saw the little creature, 
the Golden Crab. 

4 What ! You can speak, can yon, you ridiculous crab ? ' she said, 
for she was not quite pleased at the Crab's remarks. Then she 
took him up and placed him on a dish. 

When her husband came home and they sat down to dinner, 
they presently heard the Crab's little voice saying, ' Give me some 
too.' They were all very much surprised, but they gave him some- 
thing to eat. When the old man came to take away the plate 
which had contained the Crab's dinner, he found it full of gold, and 
as the same thing happened every day he soon became very fond 
of the Crab. 

One day the Crab said to the fisherman's wife, * Go to the King 
and tell him I wish to marry his younger daughter.' 

The old woman went accordingly, and laid the matter before 
the King, who laughed a little at the notion of his daughter marry- 
ing a crab, but did not decline the proposal altogether, because he 
was a prudent monarch, and knew that the Crab was likely to be a 

1 ' Prinz Kfcba,' from GriecMsche Mdhrchcn. Schmidt. 



THE GOLDEN CliAB 



27 



prince in disguise. He said, therefore, to the fisherman's wife, 
* Go, old woman, and tell the Crab I will give him my daughter if 
by to-morrow morning he can build a Avail in front of my castle 
much higher than my tower, upon which all the flowers of the 
world must grow and bloom.' 

The fisherman's wife went home and gave this message. 




Then the Crab gave her a golden rod, and said, < Go and strike 
with this rod three times upon the ground on the place which the 
King showed you, and to-morrow morning the wall will bo there.' 

The old woman did so and went away again. 

The next morning, when the King awoke, what do you think lie 
saw? The wall stood there before his eyes, exactly as he had be~ 

spoken it i Digitized by Microsoft vg> 

Y " 



28 



THE GOLDEN CRAB 



Then the old woman went back to the King and said to him, 
' Your Majesty's orders have been fulfilled.' 

' That is all very well,' said the King, ' but I cannot give away 
my daughter until there stands in front of my palace a garden in 
which there are three fountains, of which the first must play gold, 
the second diamonds, and the third brilliants.' 

So the old woman had to strike again three times upon the 

ground with the rod, and the 
next morning the garden was 
there. The King now gave 
his consent, and the wedding 
was fixed for the very next 
day. 

Then the Crab said to the 
old fisherman, ' Now take 
this rod ; go and knock with 
it on a certain mountain ; 
then a black man 1 will come 
out and ask you what you 
wish for. Answer him thus : 
" Your master, the King, has 
sent me to tell you that you 
must send him his golden 
garment that is like the sun." 
Make him give you, besides, 
the queenly robes of gold and 
precious stones which are 
like the flowery meadows, 
and bring them both to me. 
And bring me also the golden 
cushion.' 

The old man went and 
did his errand. When he had 
brought the precious robes, the Crab put on the golden garment and 
then crept upon the golden cushion, and in this way the fisherman 
carried him to the castle, where the Crab presented the other gar- 
ment to his bride. Now the ceremony took place, and when the 
married pair were alone together the Crab made himself known to 
his young wife, and told her how he was the son of the greatest 
king in the world, and how he was enchanted, so that he became 

Dig it/zec ^mauo^rosoft® 




The fisherman brings the crab on 
the golden cushion 



THE GOLDEN GRAB 29 

a crab by day and was a man only at night ; and he could also 
chango himself into an eagle as often as he wished. No sooner 
had he said this than he shook himself, and immediately became a 
handsome youth, but the next morning he was forced to creep back 
again into his crab-shell. And the same thing happened every day. 
But the Princess's affection for the Crab, and the polite attention 
with which she behaved to him, surprised the royal family very 
much. They suspected some secret, but though they spied and 
spied, they could not discover it. Thus a year passed away, and 
the Princess had a son, whom she called Benjamin. But her 
mother still thought the whole matter very strange. At last she 
said to the King that he ought to ask his daughter whether sho 
would not like to have another husband instead of the Crab ? But 
when the daughter was questioned she only answered : 

' I am married to the Crab, and him only will I have.' 

Then the King said to her, ' I will appoint a tournament in your 
honour, and I will invite all the princes in the world to it, and if 
any one of them pleases you, you shall marry him.' 

In the evening the Princess told this to the Crab, who said to 
her, * Take this rod, go to the garden gate and knock with it, then 
a black man will come out and say to you, " Why have you called 
me, and what do you require of me ? " Answer him thus: * Your 
master the King has sent me hither to tell you to send him his 
golden armour and his steed and the silver apple." And bring 
them to me.' 

The Princess did so, and brought him what he desired. 

The following evening the Prince dressed himself for the tour- 
nament. Before ho went ho said to his wife, ' Now mind you do 
not say when you see mo that I am the Crab. For if you do this 
evil will come of it. Place yourself at tho window with yoiir 
sisters ; I will ride by and throw you the silver apple. Take it in 
your hand, but if they ask you who I am, say that you do not 
know.' So saying, he kissed her, repeated his warning once moro, 
and went away. 

The Princess went with her sisters to the window and looked on 
at the tournament. Presently her husband rode by and threw the 
applo up to her. She caught it in her hand and went with it to 
her room, and by-and-by her husband came back to her. But her 
father was much surprised that sho did not seem to care about any 
of the Princes ; he therefore appointed a second tournament. 

The Crab then gave, his wife the same directions as before, only 

d2 



BO THE GOLDEN CBAB 

this time the apple which she received from the black man was of 
gold. But before the Prince went to the tournament he said to his 
wife, ' Now I know you will betray me to-day.' 

But she swore to him that she would not tell who he was. He 
then repeated his warning and went away. 

In the evening, while the Princess, with her mother and sisters 
was standing at the window, the Prince suddenly galloped past on 
his steed and threw her the golden apple. 

Then her mother flew into a passion, gave her a box on the ear, 
and cried out, ' Does not even that prince please you, you fool ? ' 

The Princess in her fright exclaimed, ' That is the Crab him- 
self!' 

Her mother was still more angry because she had not been told 
sooner, ran into her daughter's room where the crab-shell was still 
lying, took it up' and threw it into the fire. Then the poor Prin- 
cess cried bitterly, but it was of no use ; her husband did not cotne 
back. 

Now we must leave the Princess and turn to the other persons 
in the story. One day an old man went to a stream to dip in a 
crust of bread which he was going to eat, when a dog came out of 
the water, snatched the bread from his hand, and ran away. The 
old man ran after him, but the dog reached a door, pushed it 
open, and ran in, the old man following him. He did not overtake 
the dog, but found himself above a staircase, which he descended. 
Then he saw before him a stately palace, and, entering, he found in 
a large hall a table set for twelve persons. He hid himself in the 
hall behind a great picture, that he might see what would happen. 
At noon he heard a great noise, so that he trembled with fear. 
When he took courage to look out from behind the picture, he saw 
twelve eagles flying in. At this sight his fear became still greater. 
The eagles flew to the basin of a fountain that was there and bathed 
themselves, when suddenly they were changed into twelve handsome 
youths. Now they seated themselves at the table, and one of them 
took up a goblet filled with wine, and said, *A health to my 
father ! ' And another said, ' A health to my mother ! * and so the 
healths went round. Then one of them said : 

* A health to my dearest lady, 

Long may she live amd well ! 
But a curse on the cruel mother 
That burnt my golden shell 1 * 



32 



THE IBON STOVE ' 



ONCE upon a time when wishes came true there was a king's 
son who was enchanted by an old witch, so that he was 
obliged to sit in a large iron stove in a wood. There he lived for 
many years, and no one could free him. At last a king's daughter 
came into the wood ; she had lost her way, and could not find her 
father's kingdom again. She had been wandering round and 
round for nine days, and she came at last to the iron case. A 
voice came from within and asked her, ' Where do you come from, 
and where do you want to go ? ' She answered, ' I have lost my 
way to my father's kingdom, and I shall never get home again.' 
Then the voice from the iron stove said, ' I will help you to find 
your home again, and that in a very short time, if you will promise 
to do what I ask you. I am a greater prince than you are a 
princess, and I will marry you.' Then she grew frightened, and 
thought, * What can a young lassie do with an iron stove ? ' But 
as she wanted very much to go home to her father, she promised 
to do what he wished. He said, 'You must come again, and 
bring a knife with you to scrape a hole in the iron.' 

Then he gave her someone for a guide, who walked near her 
and said nothing, but he brought her in two hours to her house. 
There was great joy in the castle when the Princess came back, 
and the old King fell on her neck and kissed her. But she was 
very much troubled, and said, * Dear father, listen to what has 
befallen me ! I should never have come home again out of the 
great wild wood if I had not come to an iron stove, to whom I 
have had to promise that I will go back to free him and marry 
him ! ' The old King was so frightened that he nearly fainted, for 
she was his only daughter. So they consulted together, and deter- 
mined that the miller's daughter, who was very beautiful, should 
take her place. They took her there, gave her a knife, and said 
she must scrape at the iron stove. She scraped for twenty-four 

1 Grimm. 

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Digitized by Microsoft ® 



34 THE IHON STOVE 

she climbed a little tree and wished that the night would not come, 
because she was afraid of the wild beasts. When midnight came 
she saw afar off a little light, and thought, ' Ah ! if only I eould 
reach that ! ' Then she got down from the tree and went towards 
the light. She came to a little old house with a great deal of grass 
growing round, and stood in front of a little heap of wood. She 
thought, * Alas ! what am I coming to ? ' and peeped through the 
window; but she saw nothing inside except big and little toads, 
and a table beautifully spread with roast meats and wine, and all 
the dishes and drinking-cups were of silver. Then she took heart 
and knocked. Then a fat coad called out : 

' Little green toad with leg like crook, 
Open wide the door, and look 
W 7 ho it was the latch that shook.' 

And a little toad came forward and let her in. When she entered 
they all bid her welcome, and made her sit down. They asked her 
how she came there and what she wanted. Then she told every- 
thing that had happened to her, and how, because she had exceeded 
her permission only to speak three words, the stove had disappeared 
with the Prince ; and how she had searched a very long time, and 
must wander over mountain and valley till she found him. 
Then the old toad said : 

' Little green toad whose leg doth twist, 
Go to the corner of which you wist, 
And bring to me the large old kist.' 

And the little toad went and brought out a great ehest. Then they 
gave her food and drink, and led her to a beautifully made bed of 
silk and samite, on which she lay down and slept soundly. When 
the day dawned she arose, and the old toad gave her three things 
out of the huge chest to take with her. She would have need of 
them, for she had to cross a high glass mountain, three cutting 
swords, and a great lake. When she had passed these she would 
find her lover again. So she was given three large needles, a 
plough-wheel, and three nuts, which she was to take great care of. 
She set out with these things, and when she came to the glass 
mountain which was so slippery she stuck the three needles 
behind her feet and then in front, and so got over it, and when she 
was on the other side put them carefully away. 

Then she reached the three cutting swords, and got on her 



THE IBON STOVE 



85 



plough-wheel and rolled over them. At last she eame to a great 
lake, and, when she had crossed that, arrived at a beautiful castle. 
She went in and gave herself out as a servant, a poor maid who 
would gladly be engaged. But she knew that the Prince whom 




' Then she reached the three cutting swords, and got on her 
plough-wheel and rolled over them ' 



she had freed from the iron stove in the great wood was in the 
castle. So she was taken on as a kitchen-maid for very small 
wages. Now the Prince was about to marry another princess, for 
he thought she was dead long ago. 



36 THE IRON STOVE 

In the evening, when she had washed up and was ready, she 
felt in her poeket and found the three nuts whieh the old toad had 
given her. She cracked one and was going to eat the kernel, when 
behold ! there was a beautiful royal dress inside it ! When the 
bride heard of this, she earne and begged for the dress, and wanted 
to buy it, saying that it was not a dress for a serving-maid. Then 
she said she would not sell it unless she was granted one favour — 
namely, to sleep by the Prinee's door. The bride granted her this, 
beeause the dress was so beautiful and she had so few like it. 
When it was evening she said to her bridegroom, ' That stupid 
maid wants to sleep by your door.' 

' If you are contented, I am,' he said. But she gave him a 
glass of wine in which she had poured a sleeping-draught. Then 
they both went to his room, but he slept so soundly that she could 
not wake him. The maid wept all night long, and said, ' I freed you 
in the wild wood out of the iron stove ; I have sought you, and have 
crossed a glassy mountain, three sharp swords, and a great lake 
before I found you, and will you not hear me now ? ' The servants 
outside heard how she eried the whole night, and they told their 
master in the morning. 

When she had washed up the next evening she bit the second 
nut, and there was a still more beautiful dress inside. When the 
bride saw it she wanted to buy it also. But the maid did not want 
money, and asked that she should sleep again by the Prince's door. 
The bride, however, gave him a sleeping-draught, and he slept so 
soundly that he heard nothing. But the kitchen-maid wept the 
whole night long, and said, 1 1 have freed you hi a wood and from 
an iron stove ; I sought you and have crossed a glassy mountain, 
three sharp swords, and a great lake to find you, and now you will 
not hear me ! ' The servants outside heard how she eried the whole 
night, and in the morning they told their master. And when she 
had washed up on the third night she bit the third nut, and there 
was a still more beautiful dress inside that was made of pure gold. 
When the bride saw it she wanted to have it, but the maid would 
only give it her on condition that she should sleep for the third 
time by the Prinee's door. But the Prince took care not to drink 
the sleeping-draught. When she began to weep and to say, 
' Dearest sweetheart, I freed you in the horrible wild wood, and from 
an iron stove,' he jumped up and said, * You are right. You are 
mine, and I am thine.' Though it was still night, he got into a 
carriage with her, and they took the false bride?s clothes away, so 



THE IRON STOVE 37 

that she could not follow them. "When they came to the great lake 
they rowed across, and when they reached the three sharp swords 
they sat On the plough-wheel, and on the glassy mountain they 
stuck the three needles in. So they arrived at last at the little old 
house, but when they stepped inside it turned into a largo castle. 
The toads w T ere all freed, and were beautiful King's children, running 
about for joy. There they were married, and they remained in the 
castle, which was much larger than that of the Princess's father's. 
But because the old man did not like being left alone, they went 
and fetched him. So they had two kingdoms and lived in great 
wealth. 

A mouse has run, 

My story's done. 



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38 



THE DBAGON AND HIS GRANDMOTHER 



THERE was once a great war, and the King had a great many 
soldiers, but he gave them so little pay that they could not live 
upon it. Then three of them took counsel together and determined 
to desert. 

One of them said to the others, ' If we are caught, we shall be 
hanged on the gallows ; how shall we set about it ? ' The other 
said, ' Do you see that large cornfield there ? If we were to hide 
ourselves in that, no one could find us. The army cannot come 
into it, and to-morrow it is to march on.' 

They crept into the corn, but the army did not march on, but 
remained encamped close around them. They sat for two days and 
two nights in the corn, and grew so hungry that they nearly died ; 
but if they were to venture out, it was certain death. 

They said at last, ' What use was it our deserting ? We must 
perish here miserably.' 

Whilst they were speaking a fiery dragon came flying through 
the air. It hovered near them, and asked why they were hidden 
there. They answered, ' We are three soldiers, and have deserted 
because our pay was so small. Now if we remain here we shall 
die of hunger, and if we move out we shall be strung up on the 
gallows.' 'If you will serve me for seven years,' said the dragon, 
I will lead you through the midst of the army so that no one shall 
catch you.' ' We have no choice, and must take your offer,' said 
they. Then the dragon seized them in his claws, took them through 
the air over the army, and set them down on the earth a long way 
from it. 

He gave them a little whip, saying, ' Whip and slash with this, 
and as much money as you want will jump up before you. You 
can then live as great lords, keep horses, and drive about in car- 
riages. But after seven years you are mine.' Then he put a book 
before them, which he made all three of them sign. ' I will then 



THE DJRAGON AND HIS GRANDMOTHER 



39 



give you a riddle,' he said ; ' if you guess it, you shall be free and 
out of my power.' The dragon then flew away, and they journeyed 
on with their little whip. They had as much money as they wanted, 
wore grand clothes, and made their way into the world. Wherever 
they went they lived in merrymaking and splendour, drove about 
with horses and carriages, ate and drank, but did nothing wrong. 

The time passed quickly away, and when the seven years w T ere 
nearly ended two of them grew terribly anxious and frightened, 




The Dragon carries off the throe soldiers 

but the third made light of it, saying, * Don't be afraid, brothers, E 
wasn't born yesterday ; I will gness the riddle.' 

They went into a field, sat down, and the two pulled long faces. 
An old woman passed by, and asked them why they were so sad. 
' Alas I what have you to do with it ? You cannot help ns.' * Who 
knows ? ' she answered. ' Only confido your trouble in me.' 

Then they told her that they had become the servants of tho 
Dragon for seven long years, and how be had given them money as 

Y *? 



40 THE DRAGON AND HIS GRANDMOTHER 

plentifully as blackberries ; but as they had signed their names 
they were his, unless when the seven years had passed they could 
guess a riddle. The old woman said, * If you would help yourselves, 
one of you must go into the wood, and there he will come upon a 
tumble-down building of rocks which looks like a little hoiTse. He 
must go in, and there he will find help. 1 

The two melancholy ones thought, ' That won't save us ! ' and 
they remained where they were. But the third and merry one 
jumped up and went into the wood till he found the rock hut. In 
the hut sat a very old woman, who was the Dragon's grandmother. 
She asked him how he came, and what was his business there. 
He told her all that happened, and because she was pleased 
with him she took compassion on him, and said she would help 
him. 

She lifted up a large stone which lay over the cellar, saying, 
* Hide yourself there ; you can hear all that is spoken in this room. 
Only sit still and don't stir. When the Dragon comes, I will ask 
him what the riddle is, for he tells me everything ; then listen care- 
fully what he answers.' 

At midnight the Dragon flew in, and asked for his supper. His 
grandmother laid the table, and brought out food and drink till he 
was satisfied, and they ate and drank together. Then in the course 
of the conversation she asked him what he had done in the day, 
and how many souls he had conquered. 

* I haven't had much luck to-day,' lie said, * but I have a tight 
hold on three soldiers.' 

' Indeed ! three soldiers ! ' said she. ' Who cannot escape you ? ' 
* They are mine,' answered the Dragon scornfully, ' for I shall 
only give them one riddle which they will never be able to guess.' 

' What sort of a riddle is it ? ' she asked. 

' I will tell you this. In the North Sea lies a dead sea-cat — 
that shall be their roast meat ; and the rib of a whale — that shall 
be their silver spoon ; and the hollow foot of a dead horse — that 
shall be their wineglass.' 

When the Dragon had gone to bed, his old grandmother pulled 
up the stone and let out the soldier. 

' Did you pay attention to everything ? ' 

' Yes,' he replied, ' I know enough, and can help myself splen- 
didly.' 

Then he went by another way through the window secretly, 
and in all haste back to his comrades. He told them how the Dragon 



THE DBAGON AND HIS GBANDMOTHEB 



41 



had been outwitted by his grandmother, and how he had heard 
from his own lips the answer to the riddle. 

Then they were all delighted and in high spirits, took out their 
whip, and cracked so much money that it came jumping up from 
the ground. When the seven years had qxiite gone, the Fiend came 
with his book, and, pointing at the signatures, said, ' I will take you 
underground with me ; you shall have a meal there. If you can 
tell me what you will get for your roast meat, you shall be free, 
and shall also keep the whip.' 

Then said the first soldier, ' In the North Sea lies a dead sea- 
cat; that shall be the roast meat.' 

The Dragon was much annoyed, and hummed and hawed a good 
deal, and asked the second, ' But what shall be your spoon ? ' 

' The rib of a whale shall be oiir silver spoon.' 

The Dragon made a face, and growled again three times, ' Hum, 
hum, hum,' and said to the third, ' Do you know what your wine- 
glass shall be ? ' 

( An old horse's hoof shall be our wineglass.' 

Then the Dragon flew away with a loud shriek, and had no more 
power over them. But the three soldiers took the little whip, 
whipped as much money as tiiey wanted, and lived happily to their 
lives' end. 



^^0^^£&k^^^^^^ 




The Fiend defeated 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



i: 2 



42 



THE DONKEY CABBAGE 



THERE was once a young Hunter who went boldly into the forest. 
He had a merry and light heart, and as he went whistling 
along there came an ugly old woman, who paid to him, ' Good-day, 
dear hunter ! You are very merry and contented, but I suffer hunger 
and thirst, so give me a trifle.' The Hunter was sorry for the poor 
old woman, and he felt in his pocket and gave her all he could spare. 
He was going on then, but the old woman stopped him and said, 
1 Listen, dear hunter, to what I say. Because of your kind heart I 
will make you a present. Go on your way, and in a short timo 
you will come to a tree on which sit nine birds who have a cloak 
in their claws and are quarrelling over it. Then take aim with 
your gun and shoot in the middle of them ; they will let the cloak 
fall, but one of the birds will be hit and will drop down dead. Take 
the cloak with you ; it is a wishing-cloak, and when you throw it 
on your shoulders you have only to wish yourself at a certain place, 
and in the twinkling of an eye you are there. Take the heart out 
of the dead bird and swallow it whole, and early every morning 
when you get up you will find a gold piece under your pillow.' 

The Hunter thanked the wise woman, and thought to himself 
' These are splendid things she has promised me, if only they come 
to pass ! * So he walked on about a hundred yards, and then he 
heard above him in the branches such a screaming and chirping 
that he looked up, and there he saw a heap of birds tearing a cloth 
with their beaks and feet, shrieking, tugging, and fighting, as if 
each wanted it for himself. ' Well,' said the Hunter, ' this is won- 
derful ! It is just as the old woman said ' ; and he took his gun on 
his shoulder, pulled the trigger, and shot into the midst of them, so 
that their feathers flew about. Then the flock took flight with much 
screaming, but one fell dead, and the cloak fluttered down. Then 
the Hunter did as the old woman had told him : he cut open the 
bird, found its heart, swallowed it, and took the cloak home with 



THE DONKEY CABBAGE 43 

him. The next morning when he awoke he remembered the 
promise, and wanted to see" if it had come true. But when he 
lifted up his pillow, there sparkled the gold pioce, and the next 
morning he found another, and so on every time he got up. He 
collected a heap of gold, but at last he thought to himself, 4 What 
good is all my gold to me if I stay at homo ? I will travel and look 
a bit about me in the world.' So he took leave of his parents, 
slung his hunting knapsack and his gun round him, and journeyed 
into the world. 

U happened that one day he went through a thick wood, and 
when he came to the end of it there lay in the plain before him a 
large castle. At one of the windows in it stood an old woman with 
a most beautiful maiden by her side, looking out. But the old 
woman was a witch, and she said to the girl, ' There comes one out 
of the wood who has a wonderful treasure in his body which we 
must manage to possess ourselves of, darling daughter ; we have 
more right to it than he. He has a bird's heart in him, and so 
every morning there lies a gold piece under his pillow.' 

She told her how they could get hold of it, and how she was to 
coax it from him, and at last threatened her angrily, saying, * And 
if you do not obey me, you shall repent it ! ' 

When the Hunter came nearer he saw the maiden, and said to 
himself, ' I have travelled so far now that I will rest, and turn into 
this beautiful castle ; money I have in plenty.' But the real reason 
was that ho had caught sight of the lovely face. 

He went into the house, and was kindly received and hospitably 
entertained. It was not long before he was so much in love with 
the witch-maiden that ho thought of nothing else, and only looked 
in her eyes, and whatever she wanted, that he gladly did. Then 
the old witch said, ' Now we must have tho bird-heart ; ho will not 
feel when it is gone.' Sho prepared a drink, and when it was 
ready she poured it in a goblet and gavo it to tho maiden, who had 
to hand it to tho hunter. 

'Drink to mo now, my dearest,' sho said. Then ho took the 
goblet, and when ho had swallowed tho drink the bird-heart came 
out of his mouth. Tho maiden had to get hold of it secretly and 
then swallow it herself, for tho old witch wanted to have it. 
Thenceforward he found no moro gold under his pillow, and it lay 
under tho maiden's; but he was so much in lovo and so much bo- 
witched that ho thought of nothing except spending nil his time 
with tho maiden, rOsdtt 



44 



THE DONKEY CABBAGE 



Then the old witch said, ' We have the bird-heart, but we must 
also get the wishing-cloak from him.' ' 

The maiden answered, 'We will leave him that ; he has already 
lost his wealth ! ' 

The old witch grew angry, and said, * Such a cloak is a wonder- 
ful thing, it is seldom to be had in the world, and have it I must 




and will.' She beat the maiden, and said that if she did not obey 
it would go ill with her. 

So she did her mother's bidding, and, standing one day by the 
window, she looked away into the far distance as if she were very 

sad. 

'Why are you standing there looking so sad?' asked the 

Hunter. 



THE DONKEY CABBAGE 45 

' Alas, my love,' she replied, ' over thero lies tho granite moun- 
tain where the costly precious stones grow. [ have a great longing 
to go there, so that when I think of it 1 am very sad. For who 
can fetch them ? Only the birds who fly ; a man, never.' 

1 If you have no other trouble,' said the Hunter, ' that one 1 can 
easily remove from your heart.' 

So ho wrapped her round in his cloak and wished themselves to 
the granite mountain, and in an instant there they wero, sitting on 
it! The precious stones sparkled so brightly on all sides that it 
was a pleasure to sec them, and they collected the most beautiful 
and costly together. But now the old witch had through her 
witchcraft caused the Hunter's eyes to become heavy. 

He said to the maiden, ' We will sit down for a little while and 
rest ; I am so tired that 1 can hardly stand on my feet.' 

So they sat down, and he laid his head on her lap and fell 
asleep. As soon as he was sound asleep she unfastened the cloak 
from his shoulders, threw it on her own, left the granite and stones, 
and wished herself home again. 

But when the Hunter had finished his sleep and awoke, he 
found that his love had betrayed him and left him alone on the 
wild mountain. ' Oh,' said he, ' why is faithlessness so great in 
the world ? ' and he sat down in sorrow and trouble, not knowing 
what to do. 

But the mountain belonged to fierce and huge giants, who lived 
on it and traded there, and ho had not sat long before he saw thrco 
of them striding towards him. So ho lay down as if he had fallen 
into a deep sleep. 

The giants came up, and the first pushed lriin with his foot, and 
said, ' What sort of an earthworm is that ? ' 

The second said, 'Crush him doad.' 

But the third said contemptuously, 'It is not worth tho troublo! 
Let him live ; ho cannot remain here, and if he goes higher up tho 
mountain the clouds will take him and carry him off.' 

Talking thus they went away. But tho Hunter had listened to 
their talk, and as soon as they had gono ho rose and climbed to 
tho summit. When ho had sat thero a littlo while a cloud swept 
by, and, seizing him, carried him away. It travelled for a time in 
the sky, and then it sank down and huvercd over a large vegetablo 
garden surrounded by walls, so that ho came safely to the ground 
amidst cabbages and vegetables. Tlu Hunter then looked about 
him, saying, * U onl^ I hud something to eat ! I am so hungry, 



4G 



THE DONKEY CABBAGE 



and it will go badly with me in the future, for I see here not an 
apple or pear or fruit of any kind — nothing but vegetables every- 
where.' At last he thought, ' At a pinch I can eat a salad ; it does 
not taste particularly nice, but it will refresh me.' So he looked 
about for a good head and ate it, but no sooner had he swallowed 
a couple of mouthfuls than he felt very strange, and found himself 
wonderfully changed. Four legs began to grow on him, a thick 
head, and two long ears, and he saw with horror that he had 
changed into a donkey. But as he was still very hungry and this 




The hunter is transformed into a donkey 



juicy salad tasted very good to his present nature, he went on 
eating with a still greater appetite. At last he got hold of another 
kind of cabbage, but scarcely had swallowed it when he felt another 
change, and he once more regained his human form. 

The Hunter now lay down and slept off his weariness. When 
he awoke the next morning he broke off a head of the bad and a head 
of the good cabbage, thinking, ' This will help me to regain my 
own, and to punish faithlessness.' Then he put the heads in his 
pockets, climbed the wall, and started off to seek the castle of his 



THE DONKEY CABBAGE 47 

love. When he had wandered about for a couple of days he found 
it qnite easily. lie then browned his face quickly, 60 that his own 
mother would not have known him, and went into the castle, 
where he begged for a lodging. 

' I am so tired,* he said, ' I can go no farther.' 
The witch asked, ' Countryman, who are you, and what is your 
business ? ' 

Pie answered, * I am a messenger of the King, and have been 
sent to seek the finest salad that grows under the sun. I have 
been so lucky as to find it, and am bringing it with me ; but the 
heat of the sun is so great that the tender cabbage threatens to 
grow soft, and I do not know if I shall be able to bring it any 
farther.' 

When the old witch heard of the fine salad she wanted to eat 
it, and said, * Dear countryman, just let me taste the wonderful 
salad. 1 

' Why not ? ' he answered ; ' I have brought two heads with me, 
and will give you one.' 

So saying, he opened his sack and gave her the bad one. The 
witch suspected no evil, and her mouth watered to taste the new 
dish, so that she went into the kitchen to prepare it herself. When 
it was ready she could not wait till it was served at the table, but 
she immediately took a couple of leaves and put them in her 
month. No sooner, however, had she swallowed them than she lost 
human form, and ran into the courtyard in the shape of a donkey. 

Now the servant came into the kitchen, and when she saw the 
salad standing there ready cooked she was about to carry it up, but 
on the way, according to her old habit, she tasted it and ate a 
couple of leaves. Immediately the charm worked, and she became 
a donkey, and ran out to join the old witch, and the dish with the 
salad in it fell to the ground. In the meantime, the messenger 
was sitting with the lovely maiden, and as no one came with tho 
salad, and she wanted very much to taste it, she said, ' I don't 
know where tho salad is.' 

Then thought the Hunter, 'The cabbage must have already begun 
to work.' And he said, 'I will go to tho kitchen and fetch it myself.' 

When he came there he saw the two donkeys running about in 
the courtyard, but the salad was lying on tho ground. 

4 That's all right,' said he ; * two have had their share ! ' And 
lifting the remaining leaves up, ho laid them on the dish and 
brought them to the maiden. 



48 



TEE DONKEY CABBAGE 



1 1 am bringing you the delicious food my own self,' he said, s so 
that you need not wait any longer.' 

Then she ate, and, as the others had done, she at onct lost her 
human form, and ran as a donkey into the yard. 

When the Hunter had washed his face, so that the changed ones 
might know him, he went into the yard, saying, ' Now you shall 
receive a reward for your faithlessness.' 

He tied them all three with a rope, and drove them away till 
he came to a mill. He knocked at the window, and the miller put 
his head out and asked what 



he wanted, 




stabling, and do as I tell you with them, I will pay jou as much 
as you want.' 

The miller replied, ' Why not ? What shall I do with them ? » 
Then the Himter said that to the old donkey, which was the 
witch, three beatings and one meal ; to the younger one, which 
was the servant, one beating and three meals ; and to the youngest 
one, which was the maiden, no beating and three meals ; for he 
could not find it in his heart to let the maiden be beaten. 

Then he went back into the castle, and he found there all that 



THE DONKEY CABBAGE 49 

he wanted. After a couple of days the miller came and said that 
he must tell him that the old donkey which was to have three 
beatings and only one meal had died. ' The two others,' he added, 
4 are certainly not dead, and get their three meals every day, but they 
are so sad that they cannot last much longer.' 

Then the Hunter took pity on them, laid aside his anger, and 
told the miller to drive them back again. And when they came 
he gave them some of the good cabbage to eat, so that they became 
human again. Then the beautiful maiden fell on her knees before 
him, saying, ' Oh, my dearest, forgive me the ill I have done you I 
My mother compelled me to do it ; it was against my will, for I 
love you dearly. Your wishing-cloak is hanging in a cupboard, 
and as for the bird-heart I will make a drink and give it back to 
you.' 

But he changed his mind, and said, ' Keep it ; it makes no dif- 
ference, for I will take you to be my own dear true wife.' 

And the wedding was celebrated, and they lived happy together 
till death. 



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50 



THE LITTLE GEEEN FROG 1 

IN a part of the world whose name I forget lived once upon a 
time two kings, called Feridor and Dianiantino. They were 
cousins as well as neighbours, and both were under the protection of 
the fairies ; though it is only fair to say that the fairies did not love 
them half so well as their wives did. 

Now it often happens that as princes can generally manage 
to get their own w r ay it is harder for them to be good than it is 
for common people. So it was with Peridor and Diainantino ; 
but of the two, the fairies declared that Diamantino was much the 
worst ; indeed, he behaved so badly to his wife Aglantino, that the 
fairies would not allow him to live any longer ; and he died, leaving 
behind him a little daughter. As she was an only child, of course 
this little girl was the heiress of the kingdom, but, being still only 
a baby, her mother, the widow of Diamantino, was proclaimed 
regent. The Queen-dowager was wise and good, and tried her best 
to make her people happy. The only thing she had to vex her w r as 
the absence of her daughter ; for the fairies, for reasons of their 
own, determined to bring tip the little Princess Serpentine among 
themselves. 

As to the other King, he was really fond of his wife, Queen 
Constance, but he often grieved her by his thoughtless ways, and in 
order to punish him for his carelessness, the fairies caused her to 
die quite suddenly. When she was gone the King felt how much 
he had loved her, and his grief was so great (though he never ne- 
glected his duties) that his subjects called him Peridor the Sorrowful. 
It seems hardly possible that any man should live like Peridor for 
fifteen years plunged in such depth of grief, and most likely he 
would have died too if it had not been for the fairies. 

The one comfort the poor King had was his son, Prince Saphir, 
who was only three years old at the time of his mother's death, 
and great care was given to his education. By the time he was 

1 Cabinet des Fees. 



THE LITTLE GREEN FROG 



51 



fifteen Saphir had learnt everything that a prince should know, 
and he was, besides, charming and agreeable. 

It was about this time that the fairies suddenly took fright lest 
his love for his father 
should interfere with the 
plans they had made for 
the young prince. So, to 
prevent this, they placed 
in a pretty little room of 
which Saphir was very 
fond a little mirror in a 
black frame, such as 
were often bronght from 
Venice. The Prince did 

not notice for some days 

that there was anything 

new in the room, but at 

last he perceived it, and 

wont up to look at it more 

closely. What was his 

surprise to sec reflected in 

the mirror, not his own 

face, but that of a young 

girl as lovely as the morn- 
ing 1 And, better still, 

every movement of the 

girl, just growing out of 

childhood, was also re- 
flected in the wonderful 

glass. 

As might have been 

expected, the young Prince 

lost I113 heart completely 

to the beautiful image, and 

it was impossible to get Tho p r j ncc i 00 k s into the magic mirror 

him out of the room, so 

busy was he in watching the lovely unknown. Certainly it was 

very delightful to be able to see her whom he loved at any moment 

ho chose, but his spirits sometimes sank when he wondered what 

was to bo tho ond of this adventure. 

The magic mirror had been for about a year in the Prince's 




52 THE LITTLE GBEEN FBOG 

possession, when one day a new subject of disquiet seized upon him. 
As usual, he was engaged in looking at the girl, when suddenly he 
thought he saw a second mirror reflected in the first, exactly like 
his own, and with the same power. And in this he was perfectly 
right. The young girl had only possessed it for a short time, and 
neglected all her duties for the sake of the mirror. Now it was 
not difficult for Saphir to guess the reason of the change in her, nor 
why the new mirror was consulted so often ; but try as he would he 
could never see the face of the person who was reflected in it, for the 
young girl's figure always came between. All he knew was that 
the face was that of a man, and this was quite enough to make him 
madly jealous. This was the doing of the fairies, and we must 
suppose that they had their reasons for acting as they did. 

When these things happened Saphir was about eighteen years 
old, and fifteen years had passed away since the death of his 
mother. King Teridor had grown more and more unhappy as time 
went on, and at last he fell so ill that it seemed as if his days were 
numbered. He was so much beloved by his subjects that this sad 
news was heard with despair by the nation, and more than all by 
the Prince. 

During his whole illness the King never spoke of anything but 
the Queen, his sorrow at having grieved her, and his hope of one 
day seeing her again. All the doctors and all the water-cures in the 
kingdom had been tried, and nothing would do him any good. At 
last he persuaded them to let him lie quietly in his room, where no 
one came to trouble him. 

Perhaps the worst pain he had to bear was a sort of weight on 
his chest, which made it very hard for him to breathe. So he 
commanded his servants to leave the windows open in order that 
he might get more air. One day, when he had been left alone for 
a few minutes, a bird with brilliant plumage came and fluttered 
round the window, and finally rested on the sill. His feathers were 
sky-blue and gold, his feet and his beak of such glittering rubies 
that no one could bear to look at them, his eyes made the brightest 
diamonds look dull, and on his head he wore a crown. I cannot 
tell you what the crown was made of, but I am quite certain that 
it was still more splendid than all the rest. As to his voice I can 
say nothing about that, for the bird never sang at all. In fact, he 
did nothing but gaze steadily at the King, and as he gazed, the King 
felt his strength come back to him. In a little while the bird flew 
into the room, still with his eyes fixed on the King, and at every 



THE LITTLE GBEEN FBOG 53 

glance the strength of the sick man became greater, till ho was 
once more as well as he used to be before the Queen died. Filled 
with joy at his cure, he tried to seize the bird to whom he owed it 
all, but, swifter than a swallow, it managed to avoid him. In vain 
he described the bird to his attendants, who rushed at his first call : 
in vain they sought the wonderful creature both on horse and foot, 
and summoned the fowlers to their aid : the bird could nowhere be 
found. The love the people bore King Peridor was so strong, and 
the reward he promised was so large, that in the twinkling of an 
eye every man, woman, and child had fled into the fields, and tho 
towns were quite empty. 

All this bustle, however, ended in nothing but confusion, and, 
what was worse, the King soon fell back into the same condition as 
he was in before. Prince Saphir, who loved his father very dearly, 
was so unhappy at this that he persuaded himself that he might 
succeed where the others had failed, and at once prepared himself 
for a more distant search. In spite of the opposition he met with, 
he rode away, followed by his household, trusting to chance to help 
him. He had formed no plan, and there was no reason that ho 
should choose one path more than another. His only idea was to 
make straight for those spots which were the favourite haunts of 
birds. But in vain he examined all the hedges and all the thickets ; 
in vain he questioned everyone ho met along the road. The more 
ho sought the less he found. 

At last he came to one of the largest forests in all the world, 
composed entirely of cedars. But in spite of the deep shadows 
cast by the wide- spreading branches of the trees, the grass under- 
neath was soft and green, and covered with tho rarest flowers. It 
seemed to Saphir that this was exactly the place where the birds 
would choose to live, and ho determined not to quit the wood until 
he had examined it from end to end. And he did more. Ho 
ordered some nets to be prepared and painted of the same colours 
as the bird's plumage, thinking that wo are all easily caught by 
what is like ourselves. In this ho had to help him not only tho 
fowlers by profession, but also his attendants, who excelled in this 
art. For a man is not a courtier unless he can do everything. 

After searching as usual for nearly a whole day Prince Saphir 
began to feel overcome with thirst. He was too tired to go any 
farther, when happily he discovered a little way off a bubbling 
fountain of the clearest water. Being an experienced traveller, ho 
drew from his pocket a little cup (without which no one should 



54 THE LITTLE GBEEN FEOG 

ever take a journey), and was just about to dip it in the water, when 
a lovely little green frog, much prettier than frogs generally are, 
jumped into the cup. Far from admiring its beauty, Saphir shook 
it impatiently off; but it was no good, for quick as lightning the 
frog jumped back again. Saphir, who was raging with thirst, was 
just about to shake it off anew, when the little creature fixed upon 
him the most beautiful eyes in the world, and said, ' I am a friend 
of the bird you are seeking, and when you have quenched your 
thirst listen to me.' 

So the Prince drank his fill, and then, by the command of the 
Little Green Frog, he lay down on the grass to rest himself. 

* Now,' she began, ' be sure you do exactly in every respect what 
I tell you. First you must call together your attendants, and 
order them to remain in a little hamlet close by until you want 
them. Then go, quite alone, down a road that you will find on 
your right hand, looking southwards. This road is planted all the 
way with cedars of Lebanon ; and after going down it a long way 
you will come at last to a magnificent castle. And now,' she went 
on, ' attend carefully to what I am going to say. Take this tiny 
grain of sand, and put it into the ground as close as you can to the 
gate of the castle. It has the virtue both of opening the gate and 
also of sending to sleep all the inhabitants. Then go at once to 
the stable, and pay no heed to anything except what I tell you. 
Choose the handsomest of all the horses, leap quickly on its back, 
and come to me as fast as you can. Farewell, Prince ; I wish you 
good luck,' and with these words the Little Frog plunged into the 
water and disappeared. 

The Prince, who felt more hopeful than he had done since he 
left home, did precisely as he had been ordered. He left his atten- 
dants in the hamlet, found the road the frog had described to him, 
and followed it all alone, and at last he arrived at the gate of the 
castle, which was even more splendid than he had expected, for it 
was built of crystal, and all its ornaments were of massive gold. 
However, he had no thoughts to spare for its beauty, and quickly 
buried his grain of sand in the earth. In one instant the gates 
flew open, and all the dwellers inside fell sound asleep. Saphir 
flew straight to the stable, and already had his hand on the finest 
horse it contained, when his eye was caught by a suit of magnificent 
harness hanging up close by. It occurred to him directly that the 
harness belonged to the horse, and without ever thinking of harm 
(for indeed he who steals a horse can hardly be blamed for taking 



THE LITTLE GBEEN FBOG 



55 



his saddle), he hastily placed it on tho animal's back. Suddenly 
the people in tho castle became broad awake, and rushed to the 
stable. They flung themselves on the Prince, seized him, and 
dragged him before their lord ; but, luckily for the Prince, who could 
only find very lame excuses for his eonduct, the lord of the castle 
took a fancy to his face, and let him depart without further ques- 
tions. 

Very sad, and very much ashamed of himself poor Saphir crept 




Prince Saphir steals the horse and harness 



back to tho fountain, where the Frog was awaiting him with a good 
scolding. 

* Whom do you take mo for ? ' sho exclaimed angrily. * Do you 
really believe that it was just for the pleasure of talking that I 
gave you the advico yon have neglected so abominably ? ' 

But the Prince was so deeply grieved, and apologised so very 

humbly, that after some time the heart of tho good littlo Frog was 

softened, and she gavo him another tiny littlo grain, but instead of 

being sand it was now a grain of gold, She directed him to do 

y if 



56 THE LITTLE GBEEN FBOG 

just as he had done before, with only this difference, that instead of 
going to the stable which had been the ruin of his hopes, he was 
to enter right into the castle itself, and to glide as fast as he could 
down the passages till he came to a room filled with perfume, 
where he would find a beautiful maiden asleep on a bed. He was 
to wake the maiden instantly and carry her off, and to be sure not 
to pay any heed to whatever resistance she might make. 

The Prince obeyed the Frog's orders one by one, and all went 
well for this second time also. The gate opened, the inhabitants 
fell sound asleep, and he walked down the passage till he found the 
girl on her bed, exactly as he had been told he would. He woke 
her, and begged her firmly, but politely, to follow him quickly. 
After a little persuasion the maiden consented, but only on con- 
dition that she was allowed first to put on her dress. This sounded 
so reasonable and natural that it did not enter the Prince's head to 
refuse her request. 

But the maiden's hand had hardly touched the dress when the 
palace suddenly awoke from its sleep, and the Prince was seized 
and bound. He was so vexed with his own folly, and so taken 
aback at the disaster, that he did not attempt to explain his con- 
duct, and things would have gone badly with him if his friends the 
fairies had not softened the hearts of his captors, so that they once 
more allowed him to leave quietly. However, what troubled him 
most was the idea of having to meet the Frog who had been his 
benefactress. How was he ever to appear before her with this 
tale ? Still, after a long struggle with himself, he made up his mind 
that there was nothing else to be done, and that he deserved what- 
ever she might say to him. And she said a great deal, for she had 
worked herself into a terrible passion ; but the Prince humbly im- 
plored her pardon, and ventured to point out that it would have been 
very hard to refuse the young lady's reasonable request. 'You 
must learn to do as you are told,' was all the Frog would reply. 

But poor Saphir was so unhappy, and begged so hard for for- 
giveness, that at last the Frog's anger gave way, and she held up 
to him a tiny diamond stone. * Go back,' she said, ' to the castle, 
and bury this little diamond close to the door. But be careful not 
to return to the stable or to the bedroom ; they have proved too 
fatal to you. Walk straight to the garden and enter through a 
portico, into a small green wood, in the midst of which is a tree 
with a trunk of gold and leaves of emeralds. Perched on this tree 
you will see the beautiful bird you have been seeking so long. You 



THE LITTLE GREEN FROG 57 

must cut the branch on which it is sitting, and bring it back to me 
without delay. But I warn you solemnly that if you disobey my 
directions, as you have done twice before, you have nothing more 
to expect either of me or anyone else.' 

With these words she jumped into the water, and the Prince, 
who had taken her threats much to heart, took his departure, firmly 
resolved not to deserve them. He found it all just as he had been 
told : the portico, the wood, the magnificent tree, and the beautiful 
bird, which was sleeping soundly on one of the branches. He speedily 
lopped off the branch, and though he noticed a splendid golden 
cage hanging close by, which would have been very useful for the 
bird to travel in, he left it alone, and came back to the fountain, 
holding his breath and walking on tip-toe all the way, for fear lest 
he should awake his prize. But what was his surprise, when in- 
stead of figding the fountain in the spot where he had left it, he 
saw in its place a little rustic palace built in the best taste, and 
standing in the doorway a charming maiden, at whose sight his 
mind seemed to give way. 

1 What ! Madam ! ' he cried, hardly knowing what ho said. 
1 What ! Is it you ? ' 

The maiden blushed and answered: 'Ah, my lord, it is long 
since I first beheld your face, but I did not think you had ever 
seen mine.' 

' Oh, madam,' replied he, ' you can never guess the days and the 
hours I have passed lost in admiration of you.' And after these 
words they each related all the strange things that had happened, 
and the more they talked the more they felt convinced of the truth 
of tho images they had seen in their mirrors. After some time 
spent in the most tender conversation, the Frince could not restrain 
himself from asking the lovely unknown by what lucky chance she 
was wandering in the forest ; where tho fountain had gone ; and if 
sho knew anything of the Frog to whom he owed all his happiness, 
and to whom he must give up the bird, which, somehow or other, 
was still sound asleep. 

* Ah, my lord,' she replied, with rather an awkward air, ( as to 
the Frog, she stands before you. Let me tell you my story ; it is not 
a long one. I know neither my country nor my parents, and tho 
only thing I can say for certain is that I am called Serpentine. 
The fairies, who have taken care of me ever since I was born, wished 
me to be in ignorance as to my family, but thoy have looked after 
my education, and have bestowed on me endless kindness. I havo 

f2 



58 THE LITTLE GBEEN FROG 

always lived in seclusion, and for the last two years I have wished 
for nothing better. I had a mirror ' — here shyness and embarrass- 
ment choked her words— but regaining her self-control, she added, 
' You know that fairies insist on being obeyed without questioning. 
It was they who changed the little house you saw before you into 
the fountain for which you are now asking, and, having turned me 
into a frog, they ordered me to say to the first person who came to 
the fountain exactly what I repeated to you. But, my lord, when 
you stood before me, it was agony to my heart, filled as it was with 
thoughts of you, to appear to your eyes under so monstrous a form. 
However, there was no help for it, and, painful as it was, I had to 
submit. I desired your success with all my soul, not only for your 
own sake, but also for my own, because I could not get back my 
proper shape till you had become master of the beautiful bird, 
though I am quite ignorant as to your reason for seeking it.* 

On this Saphir explained about the state of his father's health, 
and all that has been told before. 

On hearing this story Serpentine grew very sad, and her lovely 
eyes filled with tears. 

' Ah, my lord,' she said, ' you know nothing of me but what 
you have seen in the mirror ; and I, who cannot even name my 
parents, learn that you are a king's son.' 

In vain Saphir declared that love made them equal ; Serpentine 
would only reply : ' I love you too much to allow you to marry 
beneath your rank. I shall be very unhappy, of course, but I shall 
never alter my mind. If I do not find from the fairies that my 
birth is worthy of you, then, whatever be my feelings, I will never 
accept your hand.' 

The conversation was at this point, and bid fair to last some time 
longer, when one of the fairies appeared in her ivory car, accom- 
panied by a beautiful woman past her early youth. At this moment 
the bird suddenly awakened, and, flying on to Saphir' s shoulder 
(which it never afterwards left), began fondling him as well as a 
bird can do. The fairy told Serpentine that she was quite satisfied 
with her conduct, and made herself very agreeable to Saphir, whom 
she presented to the lady she had brought with her, explaining that 
the lady was no other than his Aunt Aglantine, widow of Dia- 
mantino. 

Then they all fell into each other's arms, till the fairy mounted 
her chariot, placed Aglantine by her side, and Saphir and Serpen- 
tine on the front seat. She also sent a message to the Prince's 




' STANDING IN THE DOOUWAY A CHARMING MAIDEN AT WI10S 
SIGHT HIS MEVD SEEMED TO GIVE WAY ' 



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Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE LITTLE GREEN FROG 59 

attendants that they might travel slowly back to the Court of King 
Peridor, and that the beautiful bird had really been found. This 
matter being comfortably arranged, she started off her chariot. But 
in spite of the swiftness with which they tiew through the air, tho 
time passed even quicker for Saphir and Serpentine, who had so 
much to think about. 

They were still quite confused with the pleasure of seeing each 
other, when the chariot arrived at King Periderms palace. He had 
had himself carried to a room on tho roof, where his nurses thought 
that he would die at any moment. Directly the chariot drew within 
sight of the castle the beautiful bird took flight, and, making straight 
for the dying King, at once cured him of his sickness, Then she 
resumed her natural shape, and he found that the bird was no other 
than the Queen Constance, whom he had long believed to be dead. 
Peridor was rejoiced to embrace his wife and his son once more, 
and with the help of the fairies began to make preparations for the 
marriage of Saphir and Serpentine, who turned out to be the 
daughter of Aglantine and Diamantino, and as much a princess as 
he was a prince. The people of the kingdom were delighted, and 
everybody lived happy and contented to the end of their lives. 



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60 



THE SEVEN-HEADED SERPENT ] 



ONCE upon a time there was a king who determined to take a 
long voyage. He assembled his fleet and all the seamen, and 
set out. They went straight on night and day, until they came to 
an island which was covered with large trees, and under every tree 
lay a lion. As soon as the King had landed his men, the lions all 
rose up together and tried to devour them. After a long battle 
they managed to overcome the wild beasts, but the greater number 
of the men were killed. Those who remained alive now went on 
through the forest and found on the other side of it a beautiful 
garden, in which all the plants of the world flourished together. 
There were also in the garden three springs : the first flowed with 
silver, the second with gold, and the third with pearls. The men 
unbuckled their knapsacks and filled them with those precious 
things. In the middle of the garden they found a large lake, and 
when they reached the edge of it the Lake began to speak, and said to 
them, ' What men are you, and what brings you here ? Are you come 
to visit our king ? ' But they were too much frightened to answer. 
Then the Lake said, ' You do well to be afraid, for it is at your 
peril that you are come hither. Our king, who has seven heads, is 
now asleep, but in a few minutes he will wake up and come to me 
to take his bath ! Woe to anyone who meets him in the garden, 
for it is impossible to escape from him. This is what you must do if 
you wish to save your lives. Take off your clothes and spread 
them on the path which leads from here to the castle. The King 
will then glide over something soft, which he likes very much, and 
he will be so pleased with that that he will not devour you. He 
will give you some punishment, but then he will let you go.' 

The men did as the Lake advised them, and waited for a time. 
At noon the earth began to quake, and opened in many places, and 
out of the openings appeared lions, tigers, and other wild beasts, 

1 ' Die Siebenktipfige ScUange,' from Schmidt's Griechische Mahrchen. 



THE SEVEN -HE ABED SEBPENT 61 

which surrounded the castle, and thousands and thousands of 
beasts came out of the castle following their king, the Seven-headed 
Serpent. The Serpent glided over the clothes which weie spread 
for him, came to the Lake, and asked it who had strewed those 
soft things on the path ? The Lake answered that it had been 
done by people who had come to do him homage. The King 
commanded that the men should be brought before him. They 
came humbly on their knees, and in a few words told him their 
story. Then he spoke to them with a mighty and terrible voice, 
and said, ' Because you have dared to come here, I lay upon you 
the punishment. Every year you must bring me from among 
your people twelve youths and twelve maidens, that I may devour 
them. If you do not do this, I will destroy your whole nation.' 

Then he desired one of his beasts to show the men the way out 
of the garden, and dismissed them. They then left the island and 
went back to then' own country, where they related what had hap- 
pened to them. Soon the time came round when the king of the 
beasts would expect the youths and maidens to be brought to him. 
The King therefore issued a proclamation inviting twelve youths 
and twelve maidens to offer themselves up to save their country ; 
and immediately many young people, far more than enough, has- 
tened to do so. A new ship was built, and set with black sails, 
and in it the youths and maidens who were appointed for tho king 
of the beasts embarked and set out for his country. When they 
arrived there they went at once to the Lake, and this time tho lions 
did noV stir, nor did tho springs flow, and neither did the Lake 
speak. So they waited then, and it was not long before the earth 
quaked even more terribly than the first time. The Seven-headed 
Serpent came without his train of beasts, saw his prey waiting for 
him, and devoured it at one mouthful. Then the ship's crew 
returned home, and the same thing happened yearly until many 
years had passed. 

Now the King of this unhappy country was growing old, and so 
was the Queen, and they had no children. Ono day the Queen was 
setting at the window weeping bitterly becauso sho was childless, 
and knew that the crown would therefore pass to strangers after 
the King's death. Suddenly a little old woman appeared before her, 
holding an apple in her hand, and said, ' Why do you weep, my 
Queen, and what makes you so unhappy ? ' 

'Alas, good mother/ answered tho Queen, '1 am unhappy 
because I have no children.' J &Y MlCrC 



62 THE SEVEN-HEADED SERPENT 

' Is that what vexes you ? ' said the old woman. ' Listen to me. 
I am a nun from the Spinning Convent?- and my mother when she 
died left me this apple. "Whoever eats this apple shall have a child. 

The Queen gave money to the old woman, and Lough t the apple 
from her. Then she peeled it, ate it, and threw the rind out of the 
window, and it so happened that a mare that was running loose in 
the court below ate up the rind. After a time the Queen had a 
little boy, and the mare also had a male foal. The boy and the 
foal grew up together and loved each other like brothers. In course 
of time the King died, and so did the Queen, and their son, who was 
now nineteen years old, was left alone. One day, when he and his 
horse were talking together, the Horse said to him, ' Listen to me, 
for I love you and wish for your good and that of the country. If 
you go on every year sending twelve youths and twelve maidens to 
the King of the Beasts, your coimtry will very soon be ruined. 
Mount upon my back : I will take you to a woman who can direct 
you how to kill the Seven-headed Serpent.' 

Then the youth mounted his horse, who carried him far away to 
a mountain which was hollow, for in its side was a great under- 
ground cavern. In the cavern sat an old woman spinning. This 
was the cloister of the nuns, and the old woman was the Abbess. 
They all spent their time in spinning, and that is why the convent 
has this name. All round the walls of the cavern there were beds 
cut out of the solid rock, upon which the nuns slept, and in the 
middle a light was burning. It was the duty of the nuns to watch 
the light in turns, that it might never go out, and if anyone of 
them let it go out the others put her to death. 

As soon as the King's son saw the old Abbess spinning he threw 
himself at her feet and entreated her to tell him how he could kill 
the Seven-headed Serpent. 

She made the youth rise, embraced him, and said, ' Know, my 
son, that it is I who sent the nun to your mother and caused you 
to be born, and with you the horse, with whose help you will be 
able to free the world from the monster. I will tell you what you 
have to do. Load your horse with cotton, and go by a secret passage 
which I will show you, which is hidden from the wild beasts, to the 
Serpent's palace. You will find the King asleep upon his bed, 
which is all hung round with bells, and over his bed you will see a 
sword hanging. "With this sword only it is possible to kill the 
Serpent, because even if its blade breaks a new one will grow again 
■CouveutCnotM. 







tJUe -Seven -headed Serpent 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SEVEN-HEADED SEBPENT G3 

for every bead the monster has. Thus you will be able to cut off 
all his seven heads. And this you must also do in order to deceive 
the King : you must slip into his bed-chamber very softly, and stop 
up all the bells which are round his bed with cotton. Then take 
down the sword gently, and quickly give the monster a blow on his 
tail with it. This will make him waken up, and if he catches sight 
of you he will seize you. But you must quickly cut off his first 
head, and then wait till the next one comes up. Then strike it off 
also, and so go on till you have cut off all his seven heads.' 

The old Abbess then gave the Prince her blessing, and he set out 
upon his enterprise, arrived at the Serpent's castle by following the 
secret passage which she had shown him, and by carefully attending 
to all her directions he happily succeeded in killing the monster. 
As soon as the wild beasts heard of their king's death, they all 
hastened to the castle, but the youth had long since mounted his 
horse and was already far out of their reach. They pursued him as 
fast as they could, but they found it impossible to overtake him, 
and he reached home in safety. Thus he freed his country from 
this terrible oppression. 



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64 



THE GRATEFUL BEASTS ] 



THERE was once upon a time a man and woman who had three 
fine-looking sons, but they were so poor that they had hardly 
enough food for themselves, let alone their children. So the sons 
determined to set out into the world and to try their luck. Before 
starting their mother gave them each a loaf of bread and her 
blessing, and having taken a tender farewell of her and their father 
the three set forth on their travels. 

The youngest of the three brothers, whose name was Ferko, 
was a beautiful youth, with a splendid figure, blue eyes, fair hair, 
and a complexion like milk and roses. His two brothers were as 
jealous of him as they could be, for they thought that with his good 
looks he would be sure to be more fortunate than they would ever be. 

Ono day all the three were sitting resting under a tree, for the 
sun was hot and they were tired of walking. Ferko fell fast asleep, 
but the other two remained awake, and the eldest said to the 
second brother, * What do you say to doing our brother Ferko 
some harm ? He is so beautiful that everyone takes a fancy to 
him, which is more than they do to us. If we could only get him 
out of the way we might succeed better.' 

' I quite agree with you,' answered the second brother, ' and my 
advice is to eat up his loaf of bread, and then to refuse to give him a 
bit of ours until he has promised to let us put out his eyes or break 
his legs.' 

His eldest brother was delighted with this proposal, and the two 
wicked wretches seized Ferko' s loaf and ate it all up, while the poor 
boy was still asleep. 

When he did awake he felt very hungry and turned to eat his 
bread, but his brothers cried out, ' You ate your loaf in your sleep, 
you glutton, and you may starve as long as you like, but you won't 
get a scrap of ours.' 

Ferko was at a loss to understand how he could have eaten 

•From the Hungarian. Ktetk* 



THE GBATEFUL BEASTS 65 

in his sleep, but he said nothing, and fasted all that day and the 
next night. But on the following morning he was go hungry that he 
burst into tears, and implored his brothers to give him a little bit of 
their bread. Then the cruel creatures laughed, and repeated what 
they had said the day before ; but when Ferko continued to beg 
and beseech them, the eldest said at last, ' If you will let us put 
out one of your eyes and break one of your legs, then we will give 
you a bit of our bread.' 

At these words poor Ferko wept more bitterly than before, and 
bore the torments of hunger till the sun was high in the heavens ; 
then he could stand it no longer, and he consented to allow his left 
eye to be put out and his left leg to be broken. When this was 
done he stretched out his hand eagerly for the piece of bread, but 
his brothers gave him such a tiny scrap that the starving youth 
finished it in a moment and besought them for a second bit. 

But the more Ferko wept and told his brothers that he was 
dying of hunger, the more the} 7 laughed and scolded him for Iris 
greed. So lie endured the pangs of starvation all that day, but 
when night came his endurance gave way, and he let his right eye 
be put out and his right leg broken for a second piece of bread. 

After his brothers had thus successfully maimed and disfigured 
him for life, they left him groaning on the ground and continued 
their journey without him. 

Toor Ferko ate up the scrap of bread they had left him and 
wept bitterly, but no one heard him or came to his help. Night 
came on, and the poor blind youth had no eyes to close, and could 
only crawl along the ground, not knowing in the least wliero he 
was going. But when the sun was once more high in tho heavens, 
Ferko felt the blazing heat scorch him, and sought for some cool 
shady place to rest his aching limbs. Ho climbed to the top of a 
hill and lay down in the grass, and as he thought under the shadow 
of a big tree. But it was no tree he leant against, but a gallows on 
which two ravens were seated. The one was saying to tho other 
as the weary youth lay down, ' Ts there anything tho least wonder- 
ful or remarkablo about this neighbourhood ? ' 

' I should just think there was,' replied the other ; ' many things 
that don't exist anywhere else in the world. There is a lake down 
there below us, and anyone who bathes in it, though he were at death's 
door, becomes sound and well on the spot, and those who wash 
their eyes with the d*uv on this hill become as sharp-sighted as the 
eagle, even if they have been blind from their youth/ 



66 THE GBATEFUL BEASTS 

' Well,' answered the first raven, ' rny eyes are in no want of 
this healing bath, for, Heaven be praised, they are as good as ever 
they were ; but my wing has been very feeble and weak ever since 
it was shot by an arrow many years ago, so let us fly at once to the 
lake that I may be restored to health and strength again.' And so 
they flew away. 

Their words rejoiced Ferko's heart, and he waited impatiently 
till evening should come and he could rub the precious dew on his 
sightless eyes. 

At last it began to grow dusk, and the sun sank behind the 
mountains ; gradually it became cooler on the hill, and the grass 
grew wet with dew. Then Ferko buried his face in the ground till 
his eyes were damp with dewdrops, and in a moment he saw clearer 
than he had ever done in his life before. The moon was shining 
brightly, and lighted him to the lake where he could bathe his 
poor broken legs. 

Then Ferko crawled to the edge of the lake and dipped his 
limbs in the water. No sooner had he done so than his legs felt as 
sound and strong as they had been before, and Ferko thanked the 
kind fate that had led him to the hill where he had overheard the 
ravens' conversation. He filled a bottle with the healing water, 
and then continued his journey in the best of spirits. 

He had not gone far before he met a wolf, who was limping 
disconsolately along on three legs, and who on perceiving Ferko 
began to howl dismally. 

' My good friend,' said the youth, ' be of good cheer, for I can soon 
heal your leg,' and with these words he poured some of the precious 
water over the wolf's paw, and in a minute the animal was springing 
about sound and well on all fours. The grateful creature thanked 
his benefactor warmly, and promised Ferko to do him a good turn 
if he should ever need it. 

Ferko continued his way till he came to a ploughed field. 
Here he noticed a little mouse creeping wearily along on its hind 
paws, for its front paws had both been broken in a trap. 

Ferko felt so sorry for the little beast that he spoke to it in the 
most friendly manner, and washed its small paws with the healing 
water. In a moment the mouse was sound and whole, and after 
thanking the kind physician it scampered away over the ploughed 
furrows. 

Ferko again proceeded on his journey, but he hadn't gone far 
before a queen bee flew against him, trailing one wing behind her, 



THE GRATEFUL BEASTS 



67 



which had been cruelly torn in two by a big bird. Ferko was no 
less willing to help her than he had been to help the wolf and the 
mouse, so he poured some healing drops over the wounded wing. 
On the spot the queen bee was cured, and turning to Ferko she 
said, ' I am most grateful for your kindness, and shall rewai'd you 
some day.' And with these words she new away humming gaily. 

Then Ferko wandered on for many a long day, and at length 
reached a strange kingdom. Here, he thought to himself, he might 




as well go straight to the palace and offer his services to the King 
of the country, for lie had heard that the King's daughter was as 
beautiful as the day. 

So he went to the royal palace, and as he entered tho door tho 
first people he saw were his two brothers who had so shamefully 
ill-treated him. They had managed to obtain places in the King's 
service, and when they recognised Ferko with his eyes and legs 
sound and well they wore frightened to death, for they feared 

y. g 



68 



THE GBATEFUL BEASTS 



he would tell the King of their conduct, and that they would be 
hung. 

No sooner had Ferko entered the palace than all eyes were 
turned on the handsome youth, and the King's daughter herself 
was lost in admiration, for she had never seen anyone so handsome 




in her life before. His brothers noticed this, and envy and jealousy 
were added to their fear, so much so that they determined once 
more to destroy him. They went to the King and told him that 
Ferko was a wicked magician, who had come to the palace with 
the intention of carrying off the Princess. 

Then the King had Ferko brought before him. and said, 'You 



THE GRATEFUL BEASTS 09 

are accused of being a magician who wishes to rob me of my 
daughter, and I condemn you to death ; but if you can fulfil three 
tasks which I shall set you to do your life shall be spared, on 
condition you leave the country ; but if you cannot perform what I 
demand you shall be hung on the nearest tree.' 

And turning to the two wicked brothers he said, * Suggest 
something for him to do ; no matter how difficult, he must succeed 
hi it or die.' 

They did not think long, but replied, ( Let him build your Ma- 
jesty in one day a more beautiful palace than this, and if he fails 
in the attempt let him be hung.' 

The King was pleased with this proposal, and commanded Ferko 
to set to work on the following day. The two brothers were 
delighted, for they thought they had now got rid of Ferko for ever. 
The poor youth himself was heart-broken, and cursed the hour ho 
had crossed the boundary of the King's domain. As he was 
wandering disconsolately about the meadows round the palace, 
wondering how he could escape being put to death, a little bee 
flew past, and settling on his shoulder whispered in his ear, 
' What is troubling you, my kind benefactor ? Can I be of any 
help to you ? I am the bee whose wing you healed, and would 
like to show my gratitude in some way.' 

Ferko recognised the queen bee, and said, ' Alas ! how could 
you help me ? for T have been set to do a task which no one in the 
whole world could do, let him be ever such a genius ! To-morrow 
I must build a palace more beautiful than the King's, and it must 
be finished before evening.' 

' Is that all ? ' answered the bee, * then you may comfort 
yourself; for before the sun goes down to-morrow night a palace 
shall be built unlike any that King has dwelt in before. Just stay 
here till I come again and tell you that it is finished.' Having 
said this she flew merrily away, and Ferko, reassured by her words, 
lay down on tho grass and slept peacefully till the next morning. 

Early on tho following day the whole town was on its feet, and 
everyone wondered how and where the stranger would build the 
wonderful palace. Tho Princess alone was silent and sorrowful, 
and had cried all night till her pillow was wet, so much did she 
take the fate of tho beautiful youth to heart. 

Ferko spent the whole day in the meadows waiting the return 
of the bee. And when evening was come the queen bee Hew by, 
and perching on his shoulder .she said, ' The wonderful palace is 

o2 



70 THE GRATEFUL BEASTS 

ready. Be of good cheer, and lead the King to the hill just outside 
the city walls.' And humming gaily she flew away again. 

Ferko went at once to the King and told him the palace was 
finished. The whole court went out to see the wonder, and their 
astonishment was great at the sight which met their eyes. A splen- 
did palace reared itself on the hill just outside the walls of the city, 
made of the most exquisite flowers that ever grew in mortal garden. 
The roof was all of crimson roses, the windows of lilies, the walls 
of white carnations, the floors of glowing auriculas and violets, the 
doors of gorgeous tulips and narcissi with sunflowers for knockers, 
and all round hyacinths and other sweet- smelling flowers bloomed 
in masses, so that the air was perfumed far and near and enchanted 
all who were present. 

This splendid palace had been built by the grateful queen bee, 
who had summoned all the other bees in the kingdom to help her. 

The King's amazement knew no bounds, and the Princess's 
eyes beamed with delight as she turned them from the wonderful 
building on the delighted Ferko. But the two brothers had grown 
quite green with envy, and only declared the more that Ferko was 
nothing but a wicked magician. 

The King, although he had been surprised and astonished at the 
way his commands had been carried out, was very vexed that the 
stranger should escape with his life, and turning to the two brothers 
he said, ' He has certainly accomplished the first task, with the aid 
no doubt of his diabolical magic ; but what shall we give him to do 
now ? Let us make it as difficult as possible, and if he fails he 
shall die.' 

Then the eldest brother replied, ' The corn has all been cut, but 
it has not yet been put into barns ; let the knave collect all the 
grain in the kingdom into one big heap before to-morrow night, 
and if as much as a stalk of corn is left let him be put to death. 1 

The Princess grew white with terror when she heard these 
words ; but Ferko felt much more cheerful than he had done the 
first time, and wandered out into the meadows again, wondering 
how he was to get out of the difficulty. But he could think of no 
way of escape. The sun sank to rest and night came on, when a 
little mouse started out of the grass at Ferko's feet, and said to him, 
' I'm delighted to see you, my kind benefactor ; but why are you 
looking so sad ? Can I be of any help to you, and thus repay your 
great kindness to me ? ' 

Then Ferko recognised the mouse whose front paws he had 



THE GRATEFUL BEASTS 71 

healed, and replied, ( Alas ! how can you help rne in a matter that 
is beyond any human power ! Before to-morrow night all the grain 
in the kingdom has to be gathered into one big heap, and if as much 
as a stalk of corn is wanting I must pay for it with my life.' 

' Is that all ? ' answered the mouse ; ' that needn't distress you 
much. Just trust in me, and before the sun sets again you shall 
hear that your task is done.' And with these words the little 
creature scampered away into the fields. 

Ferko, who never doubted that the mouse would be as good as its 
word, lay down comforted on the soft grass and slept soundly till 
nest morning. The day passed slowly, and with the evening came 
the little mouse and said, ' Now there is not a single stalk of corn 
left in any field ; they are all collected in one "big "heap on the hill 
out there.' 

Then Ferko went joyfully to the King and told him that all he 
demanded had been done. And the whole Court went out to see 
the wonder, and were no less astonished than they had been the 
first time. For in a heap higher than the King's palace lay all the 
grain of the country, and not a single stalk of corn had been left 
behind in any of the fields. And how had all this been done ? 
The little mouse had summoned every other mouse in the laud to 
its help, and together they had collected all the grain in the kingdom. 

The King could not hide his amazement, but at the same time 
his wrath increased, and he was more ready than ever to believe 
the two brothers, who kept on repeating that Ferko was nothing 
more nor less than a wicked magician. Only the beautiful Princess 
rejoiced over Ferko's success, and looked on him with friendly 
glances, which the youth returned. 

The more the cruel King gazed on the wonder before him, the 
more angry he became, for he could not, in the face of his promise, 
put the stranger to death. He turned once more to the two 
brothers and said, * His diabolical magic has helped him again, but 
now what third task shall we set him to do ? No matter how 
impossible it is, he must do it or die.' 

The eldest answered quickly, ' Let him drive all the wolves of 
the kingdom on to this hill before to-morrow night. If he docs 
this he may go free ; if not he shall be hung as you have said.' 

At these words the Princess burst into tears, and when the 
King saw this he ordered her to be shut up in a high tower and 
carefully guarded till the dangerous magician should either have 
left tho kingdom or teen hung on (ho ncdrcst tree. 



72 THE GEATEFUL BEASTS 

Ferko wandered out into the fields again, and sat down on the 
stump of a tree wondering what he should do next. Suddenly a 
big wolf ran up to him, and standing still said, ' I'm very glad 
to see you again, my kind benefactor. What are you thinking 
about all alone by yourself ? If I can help you in any way only 
say the word, for I would like to give you a proof of my 
gratitude.' 

Ferko at once recognised the wolf whose broken leg he had healed, 
and told him what he had to do the following day if he wished to 
escape with his life. ' But how in the world,' he added, ' am I to 
collect all the wolves of the kingdom on to that hill over there ? ' 

' If that's all you want done,' answered the wolf, 'you needn't 
worry yourself. I'll undertake the task, and you'll hear from me 
again before sunset to-morrow. Keep your spirits up,' And with 
these words he trotted quickly away. 

Then the youth rejoiced greatly, for now he felt that his life 
was safe ; but he grew very sad when he thought of the beautiful 
Trincess, and that he would never see her again if he left the 
country. He lay down once more on the grass and soon fell fast 
asleep. 

All the next day he spent wandering about the fields, and toward 
evening the wolf came running to him in a great hurry and said, * I 
have collected together all the wolves in the kingdom, and they are 
waiting for you in the wood. Go quickly to the King, and tell him 
to go to the hill that he may see the wonder yon have done with 
his own eyes. Then return at once to me and get on my back, and 
I will help you to drive all the wolves together.' 

Then Ferko went straight to the palace and told the King that 
he was ready to perform the third task if he would come to the hill 
and see it done. Ferko himself returned to the fields, and mounting 
on the wolf's back he rode to the wood close by. 

Quick as lightning the wolf flew round the wood, and in a 
minute many hundred wolves rose up before him, increasing in 
number every moment, till they could be counted by thousands. 
He drove them all before him on to the hill, where the King and 
his whole Court and Ferko's two brothers were standing. Only the 
lovely Princess was not present, for she was shut up in her tower 
weeping bitterly. 

The wicked brothers stamped and foamed with rage when they 
saw the failure of their wicked designs. But the King was over- 
come by a sudden terror when he saw the enormous pack of wolves 



THE GRATEFUL BEASTS 



73 



approaching nearer and nearer, and calling out to Fsrko he said, 
'Knongn, enough, we don't want any more.' 

But the wolf on whose back Ferko sat, said to its rider, * Go on! 




Ferko leads the wolves on. 

go on I ' and at tho same moment many moro wolves ran up the hill, 
howling horribly and showing their white teeth. 

The King in his terror called out, ' Stop a moment ; I will give 
you half my kingdom if you will drive all the wolves away.* But 
Ferko pretended not to hear, and drove somo moro thousands 
before him, so that everyone quaked with liorror krtd fear. 



74 THE GBATEFUL BEASTS 

Then the King raised his voice again and called out, ' Stop ! you 
shall have my whole kingdom, if you will only drive these wolves 
back to the places they came from.' 

But the wolf kept on encouraging Ferko, and said, * Go on ! go 
on ! ' So he led the wolves on, till at last they fell on the King 
and on the wicked brothers, and ate them and the whole Court up 
in a moment. 

Then Ferko went straight to the palace and set tne Princess 
free, and on the same day he married her and was crowned King of 
the country. And the wolves all went peacefully back to their 
own homes, and Ferko and his bride lived for many years in peace 
and happiness together, and were much beloved by great and small 
in the land. 



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75 



THE GIANTS AND THE HEED-BOY' 



fPHEKE was once upon a time a poor boy who had neither father 
-1 nor mother. In order to gain a living he looked after the sheep 
of a great Lord. Day and night he spent out in the open fields, and 
only when it was very wet and stormy did he take refuge in a little 
hut on the edge of a big forest. Now one night, when he was sitting 




The Herd-boy binds up the Giant's foot. 

on the grass beside his flocks, he heard not very far from him tho 
sound as of some one crying. He rose up and followed the direction 
of the noise. To his dismay nnd astonishment he found a Giant lying 
at the entrance of the wood ; lie was about to run off as fast as his 
legs could carry him, when the (limit called out : l Don't be afraid, 
I won't harm you. On the contrary, I will reward yon hnndsomely 
if yon will bmjjjgflfl^ ^fJl^^U'Jft^''-''^ toroot "P 

*"* From the IhikoXcnimr . Von Wliolucki. 



76 THE GIANTS AND THE HERD-BOY 

an oak-tree.' The Herd-boy took off his shirt, and bound up the 
Giant's wounded foot with it. Then the Giant rose up and said, 
' Now come and I will reward you. We are going to celebrate a 
marriage to-day, and I promise you we shall have plenty of fun. 
Come and enjoy yourself, but in order that my brothers mayn't see 
you, put this band round your waist and then you'll be invisible.' 
With these words he handed the Herd-boy a belt, and walking on 
in front he led him to a fountain where hundreds of Giants and 
Giantesses were assembled preparing to hold a wedding. They 
danced and played different games till midnight ; then one of the 
Giants tore up a plant by its roots, and all the Giants and Giantesses 
made themselves so thin that they disappeared into the earth 
through the hole made by the uprooting of the plant. The wounded 
Giant remained behind to the last and called out, ' Herd-boy, where 
are you ? ' ' Here I am, close to you,' was the reply. ' Touch me,' 
said the Giant, ' so that you too may come with us under ground.' 
The Herd-boy did as he was told, and before he could have believed 
it possible he found himself in a big hall, where even the walls 
were made of pure gold. Then to his astonishment he saw that the 
hall was furnished with the tables and chairs that belonged to his 
master. In a few minutes the company began to eat and drink. 
The banquet was a very gorgeous one, and the poor youth fell to 
and ate and drank lustily. When he had eaten and drunk as much 
as he could he thought to himself, ' Why shouldn't I put a loaf of 
bread in my pocket ? I shall be glad of it to-morrow.' So he seized 
a loaf when no one was looking and stowed it away under his tunic. 
No sooner had he done so than the wounded Giant limped up to 
him and whispered softly, ' Herd-boy, where are you ? ' ' Here I 
am,' replied the youth. ' Then hold on to me,' said the Giant, ' so that 
I may lead you up above again.' So the Herd-boy held on to the 
Giant, and in a few moments he found himself on the earth once 
more, but the Giant had vanished. The Herd-boy returned to his 
sheep, and took off the invisible belt which he hid carefully in his bag. 
The next morning the lad felt hungry, and thought he would 
cut off a piece of the loaf he had carried away from the Giants' 
wedding feast, and eat it. But although he tried with all his 
might, he couldn't cut off the smallest piece. Then in despair he 
bit the loaf, and what was his astonishment when a piece of gold 
fell out of his mouth and rolled at his feet. He bit the bread a 
second and third time, and each time a piece of gold fell out of his 
mouth; but the bread remained untouched. The Herd -boy was 



THE GIANTS AND TEE HEED-BOY 77 

very much delighted over his stroke of good fortune, and, hiding the 
magic loaf in his bag, he hurried off to the nearest village to buy 
himself something to eat, and then returned to his sheep. 

Now the Lord whose sheep the Herd-boy looked after had a very 
lovely daughter, who always smiled and nodded to the youth 
when she walked with her father in his fields. For a long time the 
Herd-boy had made up his mind to prepare a surprise for this 
beautiful creature on her birthday. So when the day approached 
he put on his invisible belt, took a sack of gold pieces with him, and 
slipping into her room in the middle of the night, he placed the bag 
of gold beside her bed and returned to his sheep. The girl's joy 
was great, and so was her parents' next day when they found the 
sack full of gold pieces. The Herd-boy was so pleased to think 
what pleasure he had given that the next night he placed another 
bag of gold beside the girl's bed. And this he continued to do for 
seven nights, and the girl and her parents made up their minds 
that it must be a good Fairy who brought the gold every night. 
But one night they determined to watch, and sec from their hiding- 
place who the bringer of the sack of gold really was. 

On the eighth night a fearful storm of wind and rain came on 
while the Herd-boy was on his way to bring the beautiful girl 
another hag of gold. Then for the first time he noticed, just as he 
reached his master's house, that he had forgotten the belt which 
made him invisible. He didn't like the idea of going back to his 
hut in the wind and wet, so he just stepped as he was into the girl's 
room, laid the sack of gold beside her, and was turning to leave 
the room, when his master confronted him and said, 'You young 
rogue, so you were going to steal the gold that a good Fairy brings 
every night, were you ? ' The Herd-boy was so taken aback by his 
words, that he stood trembling before him, and did not dare to 
explain his presence. Then his master spoke. * As you have hitherto 
always behaved well in my service I will not send 3011 to prison ; 
but leave your place instantly and never let mo see your face again.' 
So the Herd-boy went back to his hut, and taking his loaf and belt 
with him, ho wont to the nearest town. There ho bought himself 
some fine clothes, and a beautiful coach with four horses, hired two 
servants, and drove back to his master. You may imagine how 
astonished he was to see his Herd-boy returning to him in this man- 
ner ! Then the youth told him of the piece of good luck that had 
befallen him, and asked him for the.hand of his .beautiful daughter. 
This was readily -granted , and tho two lived in 'peade' and happiness 
to the end of their lives. 



78 



THE INVISIBLE PRINCE 



ONCE upon a time there lived a Fairy who had power over the 
earth, the sea, fire, and the air ; and this Fairy had four sons. 
The eldest, who was quick and lively, with a vivid imagination, she 
made Lord of Fire, which was in her opinion the noblest of all the 
elements. To the second son, whose wisdom and prudence made 
amends for his being rather dull, she gave the government of the 
earth. The third was wild and savage, and of monstrous stature ; 
and the Fairy, his mother, who was ashamed of his defects, hoped 
to hide them by creating him King of the Seas. The youngest, who 
was the slave of his passions and of a very uncertain temper, 
became Prince of the Air. 

Being the youngest, he was naturally his mother's favourite ; but 
this did not blind her to his weaknesses, and she foresaw that some 
day he would suffer much pain through falling in love. So she 
thought the best thing she could do was to bring him up with a 
horror of women ; and, to her great delight, she saw this dislike 
only increased as he grew older. From his earliest childhood he 
heard nothing but stories of princes who had fallen into all sorts of 
troubles through love ; and she drew such terrible pictures of poor 
little Cupid that the young man had no difficulty in believing that 
he was the root of all evil. 

All the time that this wise mother could spare from filling her 
son with hatred for all womenkind she passed in giving him a love 
of the pleasures of the chase, which henceforth became his chief 
joy. For his amusement she had made a new forest, planted with 
the most splendid trees, and turned loose in it every animal that 
could be found in any of the four quarters of the globe. In the 
midst of this forest she built a palace which had not its equal for 
beauty in the whole world, and then she considered that she had 
done enough to make any prince happy. 

Now it is all very well to abuse the God of Love, but a man 



THE INVISIBLE PRINCE 70 

cannot struggle against his fate. In his secret heart the Frince got 
tired of his mother's constant talk on this subject ; and when one 
day she quitted the palace to attend to some business, begging him 
never to go beyond the grounds, he at once jumped at the chance 
of disobeying her. 

Left to himself the Prince soon forgot the wise counsels of his 
mother, and feeling very much bored with his own company, he 
ordered some of the spirits of the air to carry him to the court of a 
neighbouring sovereign. This kingdom was situated in the Island 
of Roses, where the climate is so delicious that the grass is always 
green and the flowers always sweet. The waves, instead of beating 
on the rocks, seemed to die gently on the shore ; clusters of golden 
bushes covered the land, and the vines were bent low with grapes. 

The King of this island had a daughter named Rosalie, who was 
more lovely than any girl in the whole world. No sooner had the 
eyes of the Prince of the Air rested on her than he forgot all the 
terrible woes which had been prophesied to him ever since he was 
born, for in one single moment the plans of years are often upset. 
He instantly began to think how best to make himself happy, and 
the shortest way that occurred to him was to have Rosalie carried 
off by his attendant spirits. 

It is easy to imagine the feelings of the King when he found 
that his daughter had vanished. He wept her loss night and day, 
and his only comfort was to talk over it with a young and unknown 
prince, who had just arrived at the Court. Alas ! he did not know 
what a deep interest the stranger had in Rosalie, for he too had 
seen her, and had fallen a victim to her charms. 

One day the King, more sorrowful than usual, was walking sadly 
along the sea-shore, when after a long silence the unknown Prince, 
who was his only companion, suddenly spoke. 'There is no evil 
without a remedy,' he said to the unhappy father ; ' and if you will 
promise me your daughter in marriage, 1 will undertake to bring 
her back to you.' 

' Yon are trying to soothe mo by vain promises,' answered the 
King. 'Did I not see her caught up into the air, in spite of cries 
which would have softened the heart of any one but the barbarian 
who has robbed mo of her ? The unfortunate girl is pining away 
in somo unknown land, where perhaps no foot of man has ever 
trod, and I shall see her no more. But go, generous stranger; 
bring back Rosalie if you can, and live happy with her ever after 
in this country, of ^hich I now declare you heir.' 



80 THE INVISIBLE PBINCE 

Although the stranger's name and rank were unknown to 
Rosalie's father, he was really the son of the King of the Golden 
Isle, which had for capital a city that extended from one sea to 
another. The walls, washed by the quiet waters, were covered with 
gold, which made one think of the yellow sands. Above them was 
a rampart of orange and lemon trees, and all the streets were paved 
with gold. 

The King of this beautiful island had one son, for whom a life 
of adventure had been foretold at his birth. This so frightened 
his father and mother that in order to comfort them a Fairy, who 
happened to be present at the time, produced a little pebble which 
she told them to keep for the Prince till he grew up, as by putting 
it in his mouth he would become invisible, as long as he did not 
try to speak, for if he did the stone would lose all its virtue. In 
this way the good fairy hoped that the Prince would be protected 
against all dangers. 

No sooner did the Prince begin to grow out of boyhood than he 
longed to see if the other countries of the world were as splendid 
as the one in which he lived. So, under pretence of visiting some 
small islands that belonged to his father, he set out. But a frightful 
storm drove his ship on to unknown shores, where most of his 
followers were put to death by the savages, and the Prince himself 
only managed to escape by making use of his magic pebble. By 
this means he passed through the midst of them unseen, and wan- 
dered on till he reached the coast, where he re-embarked on board 
his ship. 

The first land he sighted was the Island of Roses, and he went 
at once to the court of the King, Rosalie's father. The moment 
his eyes beheld the Princess, he fell in love with her like everyone 
else. 

He had already spent several months in this condition when 
the Prince of the Air whirled her away, to the grief and despair of 
every man on the island. But sad though everybody was, the 
Prince of the Golden Isle was perfectly inconsolable, and he passed 
both days and nights in bemoaning his loss. 

' Alas I ' he cried ; ' shall I never see my lovely Princess again ? ' 
Who knows where she may be, and what fairy may have her in his 
keeping ? I am only a man, but I am strong in my love, and I 
will seek the whole world through till I find her.' 

So saying, he left the court, and made ready for his journey. 

He travelled many weary days without hearing a single word of 



THE INVISIBLE PEINCE 81 

the lost Princess, till one morning, as he was walking through a thick 
forest, he suddenly perceived a magnificent palace standing at tho 
end of a pine avenue, and his heart bounded to think that he might 
be gazing on Rosalie's prison. He hastened his steps, and quickly 
arrived at the gate of the palace, which was formed of a single 
agate. The gate swung open to let him through, and he next passed 
successively three courts, surrounded by deep ditches filled with 
running water, with birds of brilliant plumage flying about the 
banks. Everything around was rare and beautiful, but tho Prince 
scarcely raised his eyes to all theso wonders. He thought only of 
tho Princess and where he should find her, but in vain he opened 
every door and searched in every corner ; he neither saw Rosalie 
nor anyone else. At last there was no place left for him to search 
but a little wood, which contained in the centre a sort of hall built 
entirely of orange-trees, with four email rooms opening out of the 
corners. Three of these were empty except for statues and won- 
derful things, but in the fourth the Invisible Prince caught sight of 
Rosdie. His joy at beholding her again was, however, somewhat 
lessened by seeing that the Prince of the Air was kneeling at her 
feet, and pleading his own cause. But it was in vain that he im- 
plored her to listen ; she only shook her head. * No,' was all she 
would say ; * you snatched me from my father whom I loved, and 
all the splendour in the world can never console me. Go ! I can 
never feel anything towards you but hate and contempt.' With 
these words she turned away and entered her own apartments. 

Unknown to herself the Invisible Prince had followed her, but 
fearing to be discovered by the Princess in the presence of others, 
be made up his mind to wait quietly till dark ; and employed tho 
long hours in writing a poem to the Princess, which he laid on tho 
bed beside her. This done, he thought of nothing but how best to 
deliver Rosalie, and he resolved to take advantage of a visit which 
the Prince of the Air paid every year to his mother and brothers 
in order to strike the blow. 

One day Rosalie was sitting alone in her room thinking of her 
troubles when she suddenly saw a pen get up from off the desk and 
begin to write all by itself on a sheet of white paper. As she dkl 
not know that it was guided by an invisible hand sho was very 
much astonished, and the moment that the pen had coased to move 
she instantly went over to tho table, where she found some lovely 
verses, telling her that another shared her distresses, whatever they 
might be, and loved her with all his heart ; and that ho would novor 



82 THE INVISIBLE PBINCE 

rest until he had delivered her from the hands of the man she 
hated. Thus encouraged, she told him all her story, and of the 
arrival of a young stranger in her father's palace, whose looks had 



so charmed her that since that day she had thought of no one else. 

At these words the Prince could contain himself no longer. He 

took the pebble from his mouth, and flung himself at Eosalie's feet. 

When they had got over the first' rapture of-meeting they began 



THE INVISIBLE PEINCE 83 

to make plans to escape from the power of the Prince of the Air. 
But this did not prove easy, for the magic stone would only serve 
for one person at a time, and in order to save Rosalie the Prince of 
the Golden Isle would have to expose himself to the fury of his 
enemy. But Rosalie would not hear of this. 

' No, Prince,' she said ; ' since yon aro here this island no longer 
feels a prison. Besides, you are under the protection of a Fairy, who 
always visits your father's court at this season. Go instantly and 
seek her, and when she is found implore the gift of another stone 
with similar powers. Once you have that, there will he no further 
difficulty in the way of escape.' 

The Prince of the Air returned a few days later from his 
mother's palace, but the Invisible Prince had already set out. He 
had, however, entirely forgotten the road by which he had come, 
and lost himself for so long in the forest, that when at last he 
reached homo the Fairy had already left, and, in spite of all his 
grief, there was nothing for it but to wait till the Fairy's next visit, 
and allow Rosalie to suffer three months longer. This thought 
drovo him to despair, and he had almost made up his mind to 
return to the place of her captivity, when one day, as he was 
strolling along an alley in the woods, he saw a hugo oak open its 
trunk, and out of it step two Princes in earnest conversation. As 
our hero had the magic stone in his mouth they imagined them- 
selves alone, and did not lower their voices. 

1 What ! ' said one, 'aro you always going to allow yourself to 
be tormented by a passion which can never end happily, and in 
your whole kingdom can you find nothing else to satisfy you ? ' 

1 What is the use,' replied the other, ( of being Trinco of tho 
Gnomes, and having a mother who is queen over all tho four 
elements, if I cannot win the love of tho Princess Argentine ? From 
the moment that I first saw her, sitting in the forest surrounded 
by flowers, I have never ceased to think of her night and day, and, 
although I love her, I am quito convinced that sho will never caro 
for me. You know that I havo in my palaco tho cabinets of tho 
years. In tho first, great mirrors reflect the past ; in the second, 
we contemplate tho present; in tho third, tho future can bo read. 
It was here that 1 lied after [ had gazed on tho Princess Argen- 
tine, but instead of lovo I only saw scorn and contempt. Think 
how great must be my devotion, when, in spite of my fate, I still 
lovo on ! ' 

Now the Prince of the Golden I$lo was enchanted with this 
Y. ii 



84 THE INVISIBLE PBINCE 

conversation, for the Princess Argentine was his sister, and he 
hoped, by means of her influence over the Prince of the Gnomes, 
to obtain from his brother the release of Rosalie. So he joyfully 
returned to his father's palace, where he found his friend the Fairy, 
who at once presented him with a magic pebble like his own. As 
may be imagined, he lost no time in setting out to deliver Eosalie, 
and travelled so fast that he soon arrived at the forest, in the 
midst of which she lay a captive. But though he found the palace 
he did not find Eosalie. He hunted high and low, but there was 
no sign of her, and his despair was so great that he was ready, a 
thousand times over, to take his own life. At last he remembered 
the conversation of the two Princes about the cabinets of the years, 
and that if he could manage to reach the oak-tree, he would be 
certain to discover what had become of Rosalie. Happily, he soon 
found out the secret of the passage and entered the cabinet of the 
present, where he saw reflected in the mirrors the unfortunate Rosalie 
sitting on the floor weeping bitterly, and surrounded with genii, who 
never left her night or day. 

This sight only increased the misery of the Prince, for he did 
not know where the castle was, nor how to set about finding it. 
However, he resolved to seek the whole world through till he came 
to the right place. He began by setting sail in a favourable wind, 
but his bad luck followed him even on the sea. He had scarcely 
lost sight of the land when a violent storm arose, and after several 
hours of beating about, the vessel was driven on to some rocks, on 
which it dashed itself to bits. The Prince was fortunate enough to 
be able to lay hold of a floating spar, and contrived to keep himself 
afloat ; and, after a long struggle with the winds and waves, he was 
cast upon a strange island. But what was his surprise, on reaching 
the shore, to hear sounds of the most heartrending distress, 
mingled with the sweetest songs which had ever charmed him ! His 
curiosity was instantly roused, and he advanced cautiously till he 
saw two huge dragons guarding the gate of a wood. They were 
terrible indeed to look upon. Their bodies were covered with 
glittering scales ; their curly tails extended far over the land ; 
flames darted from their mouths and noses, and their eyes would 
have made the bravest shudder ; but as the Prince was invisible 
and they did not see him, he slipped past them into the wood. He 
found himself at once in a labyrinth, and wandered about for a 
long time without meeting anyone ; in fact, the only sight he saw 
was a circle of human hands, sticking out of the ground above the 




u2 



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THE INVISIBLE PBINCE 



85 



wrist, each with a bracelet of gold, on which a name was written. 
The farther he advanced in the labyrinth the more curious he 
became, till he was stopped by two corpses lying in the midst of a 




cypress alley, each with a scarlet cord round his neck and a bracelet 
on his arm on which were engraved their own names, and those of 

two vimcesses. Digitized by Micro 



86 THE INVISIBLE PBINCE 

The invisible Prince recognised these dead men as Kings of two 
large islands near his own home, but the names of the Princesses 
were unknown to him. He grieved for their unhappy fate, and at 
once proceeded to bury them ; but no sooner had he laid them in 
their graves, than their hands started up through the earth and 
remained sticking up like those of their fellows. 

The Prince went on his way, thinking about this strange adven- 
ture, when suddenly at the turn of the walk he perceived a tall man 
whose face was the picture of misery, holding in his hands a silken 
cord of the exact colour of those round the necks of the dead men. 
A few steps further this man came up with another as miserable to 
the full as he himself; they silently embraced, and then without 
a word passed the cords round their throats, and fell dead side by 
side. In vain the Prince rushed to their assistance and strove to 
undo the cord. He could not loosen it ; so he buried them like the 
others and continued his path. 

He felt, however, that great prudence was necessary, or he him- 
self might become the victim of some enchantment ; and he was 
thankful to slip past the dragons, and enter a beautiful park, with 
clear streams and sweet flowers, and a crowd of men and maidens. 
But he could not forget the terrible things he had seen, and hoped 
eagerly for a clue to the mystery. Noticing two young people talking 
together, he drew near thinking that he might get some explanation 
of what puzzled him. And so he did. 

* You swear,' said the Prince, ' that } t ou will love me till you die, 
but I fear your faithless heart, and I feel that I shall soon have to 
seek the Fairy Despair, ruler of half this island. She carries off 
the lovers who have been cast away by then mistresses, and wish 
to have done with life. She places them in a labyrinth where they 
are condemned to walk for ever, with a bracelet on their arms and 
a cord round their necks, unless they meet another as miserable as 
themselves. Then the cord is pulled and they lie where they fall, 
till they are buried by the first passer-by. Terrible as this death 
would be,' added the Prince, ' it would be sweeter than life if I had 
lost your love.' 

The sight of all these happy lovers only made the Prince grieve 
the more, and he wandered along the seashore spending his days ; 
but one day he was sitting on a rock bewailing his fate, and the 
impossibility of leaving the island, when all in a moment the sea 
appeared to raise itself nearly to the skies, and the caves echoed 
with hideous screams. As he looked a woman rose from the depths 



THE INVISIBLE PBINCE 87 

of the sea, flying madly before a furious giant. Tho cries she 
uttered softened the heart of the Prince ; he took the stono from 
his month, and drawing his sword he rushed after the giant, so as 
to give the lady time to escape. But hardly had he come within 
reach of the enemy, than the giant touched him with a ring that he 
held in his hand, and the Prince remained immovable where he 
stood. The giant then hastily rejoined his prey, and, seizing her in 
his arms, he plunged her into the sea. Then he sent some tritons 
to bind chains about the Prince of the Golden Isle, and he too felt 
himself borne to the depths of the ocean, and without the hope of 
ever again seeing the Princess. 

Now the giant whom the invisible had so rashly attacked was 
the Lord of the Sea, and the third son of the Queen of the Elements, 
and he had touched the youth with a magic ring which enabled a 
mortal to live under water. So the Prince of the Golden Isle found, 
when bound in chains by the tritons, he was carried through the 
homes of strange monsters and past immense seaweed forests, till 
he reached a vast sandy space, surrounded by huge rocks. On the 
tallest of the rocks sat the giant as on a throne. 

* Piash mortal,' said he, when the Prince was dragged before him, 
* you have deserved death, but you shall live only to suffer more 
cruelly. Go, and add to the number of those whom it is my pleasure 
to torture.' 

At these words the unhappy Prince found himself tied to a rock ; 
but ho was not alono in his misfortunes, for all round him were 
chained Princes and Princesses, whom the giant had led captive. 
Indeed, it was his chief delight to create a storm, in order to add to 
the list of his prisoners. 

As his hands were fastened, it was impossible for tho Prince of 
the Golden Isle to make use of his magic stone, and ho passed his 
nights and days dreaming of Posalic. But at last the time came 
when the giant took it into his head to amuse himself by arranging 
fights between some of Ins captives. Lots wcro drawn, and one 
fell upon our Prince, whoso chains wcro immediately loosened. 
Tho moment ho was set free, he snatched up his stone, and became 
invisible. 

Tho astonishment of tho giant at tho sudden disappearance of 
tho Princo may well bo imagined. He ordered all the passages to 
be watched, but it was too late, for the Princo had already glided 
between two rocks. lie wandered for a long while through the 
forests, where he met nothing but fearful monsters ; he climbed rock 



88 THE INVISIBLE PBINCE 

after rock, steered bis way from tree to tree, till at length he arrived 
at the edge of the sea, at the foot of a mountain that he remembered 
to have seen in the cabinet of the present, where Eosalie was held 
captive. 

Filled with joy, he made his way to the top of the mountain 
which pierced the clouds, and there he found a palace. He entered, 
and in the middle of a long gallery he discovered a crystal room, 
in the midst of which sat Rosalie, guarded night and day by genii. 
There was no door anywhere, nor any window. At this sight the 
Prince became more puzzled than ever, for he did not know how 
he was to warn Rosalie of his return. Yet it broke his heart to 
see her weeping from dawn till dark. 

One day, as Rosalie was walking up and down her room, she 
was surprised to see that the crystal which served for a wall had 
grown cloudy, as if some one had breathed on it, and, what was 
more, wherever she moved the brightness of the crystal always 
became clouded. This was enough to cause the Princess to suspect 
that her lover had returned. In order to set the Prince of the Air's 
mind at rest she began by being very gracious to him, so that when 
she begged that her captivity might be a little lightened she should 
not be refused. At first the only favour she asked was to be allowed 
to walk for one hour every day up and down the long gallery. This 
was granted, and the Invisible Prince speedily took the opportunity 
of handing her the stone, which she at once slipped into her mouth. 
No words can paint the fury of her captor at her disappearance. 
He ordered the spirits of the air to fly through all space, and to 
bring back Rosalie wherever she might be. They instantly flew 
off to obey his commands, and spread themselves over the whole 
earth. 

Meantime Rosalie and the Invisible Prince had reached, hand 
in hand, a door of the gallery which led through a terrace into the 
gardens. In silence they glided along, and thought themselves 
already safe, when a furious monster dashed itself by accident 
against Rosalie and the Invisible Prince, and in her fright she let 
go his hand. No one can speak as long as he is invisible, and 
besides, they knew that the spirits were all around them, and at the 
slightest sound they would be recognised ; so all they could do was 
to feel about in the hope that their hands might once more meet. 

But, alas ! the joy of liberty lasted but a short time. The 
Princess, having wandered in vain up and down the forest, stopped 
at last on the edge of a fountain. As she walked she wrote on the 




FRINGE GNOME LEARNS THE NAME OF I11S 1UVAL AT THE 
GOL.DEN FOUNTAIN 



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Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE INVISIBLE PBlNCE 80 

trees : ' If ever the Prince, my lover, comes this way, let him know 
that it is here I dwell, and that I sit daily on the edge of this foun- 
tain, mingling my tears with its waters.' 

These words were read by one of the genii, who repeated them 
to his master. The Prince of the Air, in his turn making himself 
invisible, was led to the fountain, and waited for Rosalie. When 
she drew near he held out his hand, which she grasped eagerly, 
taking it for that of her lover ; and, seizing his opportunity, the 
Prince passed a cord round her arms, and throwing off his in- 
visibility cried to his spirits to drag her into the lowest pit. 

It was at this moment that the Invisible Prince appeared, and 
at the sight of the Prince of the Genii mounting into the air, 
holding a silken cord, he guessed instantly that he was carrying off 
Rosalie. 

lie felt so overwhelmed by despair that he thought for an hi- 
st \nt of putting an end to his life. ' Can I survive my misfortunes ? ' 
he cried. ' I fancied I had come to an end of my troubles, and now 
they are worse than ever. What will become of me ? Never can 
I discover the place where this monster will hide Rosalie.' 

The unhappy youth had determined to let himself dio, and 
indeed his sorrow alone was enough to kill him, when the thought 
that by means of the cabinets of the years he might find out where 
the Princess was imprisoned, gave him a little ray of comfort. So 
lie continued to walk on through the forest, and after some hours 
he arrived at the gate of a temple, guarded by two huge lions. 
Reing invisible, he was able to enter unharmed. In the middle of 
the temple was an altar, on which lay a book, and behind the altar 
hung a great curtain. The Prince approached the altar and opened 
the book, which contained the names of all the lovers in the world : 
and in it he read that Rosalie had been carried off by the Prince 
of the Air to an abyss which had no entrance except the one that 
lay by way of the Fountain of Gold. 

Now, as the Prince had not tho smallest idea where this 
fountain was to be found, it might bo thought that he was not 
much nearer Rosalie than before. This was not, however, the view 
taken by the Prince. 

4 Though every step that I take may perhaps lead me further 
from her,' he said to himself, ' I am still thankful to know that sho 
is alive somewhere.' 

On leaving thn temple the Invisible Prince, saw six paths lying 
before him, each of which led through the wood. lie was 



90 THE INVISIBLE PRINCE 

hesitating which to choose, when he suddenly beheld two people 
coming towards him, down the track which lay most to his right. 
They turned out to be the Prince Gnome and his friend, and the 
sudden desire to get some news of his sister, Princess Argentine, 
caused the Invisible Prince to follow them and to listen to their 
conversation. 

' Do you think,' the Prince Gnome was saying, ' do you think 
that I would not break my cbains if I could ? I know that the 
Princess Argentine will never love me, yet each day I feel her 
dearer still. And as if this were not enough, I have the horror of 
feeling that she probably loves another. So I have resolved to put 
myself out of my pain by means of the Golden Fountain. A single 
drop of its water falling on the sand around will trace the name of 
my rival in her heart. I dread the test, and yet this very dread 
convinces me of my misfortune.' 

It may be imagined that after listening to these words the 
Invisible Prince followed Prince Gnome like his shadow, and after 
walking some time they arrived at the Golden Fountain. The 
unhappy lover stooped down with a sigh, and dipping his finger in 
the water let fall a drop on the sand. It instantly wrote the name 
of Prince Flame, his brother. The shock of this discovery was so 
real, that Prince Gnome sank fainting into the arms of his friend. 

Meanwhile the Invisible Frince was turning over in his mind 
how he could best deliver Piosalie. As, since he had been touched 
by the Giant's ring, he had the power to live in the water as well 
as on land, he at once dived into the fountain. He perceived in one 
corner a door leading into the mountain, and at the foot of the moun- 
tain was a high rock on which was fixed an iron ring with a cord 
attached. The Prince promptly guessed that the cord was used to 
chain the Princess, and drew his sword and cut it. In a moment he 
felt the Princess's hand in his, for she had always kept her magk? 
pebble in her mouth, in spite of the prayers and entreaties of the 
Prince of the Air to make herself visible. 

So hand in hand the invisible Prince and Rosalie crossed the 
mountain ; but as the Princess had no power of living under water, 
she could not pass the Golden Fountain. Speechless and invisible 
they clung together on the brink, trembling at the frightful tempest 
the Prince of the Air had raised in his fury. The storm had already 
lasted many days when tremendous heat began to make itself felt. 
The lightning flashed, the thunder rattled, fire holts fell from 
heaven, burning up the forests and even the fields of corn. In one 



THE INVISIBLE PRINCE 91 

instant the very streams were dried up, and the Prince, seizing his 
opportunity, carried the Princess over the Golden Fountain. 

It took them a long time still to reach the Golden Isle, but at 
last they got there, and wo may be quite sure they never wanted 
to leave it any more. 



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92 



THE CBOW 1 



ONCE upon a time there were three Princesses who were all 
three young and beautiful; but the youngest, although she 
was not fairer than the other two, was the most loveable of them 
all. 

About half a mile from the palace in which they lived there 
stood a castle, which was uninhabited and almost a ruin, but the 
garden which surrounded it was a mass of blooming flowers, and in 
this garden the youngest Princess used often to walk. 

One day when she was pacing to and fro under the lime trees, a 
black crow hopped out of a rose-bush in front of her. The poor 
beast was all torn and bleeding, and the kind little Princess was 
quite unhappy about it. "When the crow saw this it turned to her 
and said : 

' I am not really a black crow, but an enchanted Prince, who 
has been doomed to spend his youth in misery. If you only liked, 
Princess, you could save me. But you would have to say good-bye 
to all your own people, and come and be my constant companion in 
this ruined castle. There is one habitable room in it, in which 
there is a golden bed ; there you will have to live all by yourself, 
and don't forget that whatever you may see or hear in the night 
you must not scream out, for if you give as much as a single cry 
my sufferings will be doubled.' 

The good-natured Princess at once left her home and her 
family and hurried to the ruined castle, and took possession of the 
room with the golden bed. 

When night approached she lay down, hut though she shut her 
eyes tight sleep would not come. At midnight she heard to her 
great horror some one coming along the passage, and in a minute her 
door was flung wide open and a troop of strange beings entered the 
room. They at once proceeded to light a fire in the huge fireplace; 
1 From the Polish. Kletke. 



THE enow 



93 



then they placed a great cauldron of boiling water on it. When they 
had done this, they approached the bed on which the trembling 
girl lay, and, screaming and yelling all the time, they dragged her 
towards the cauldron. She nearly died with fright, but she never 
uttered a sound. Then of a sudden the cock crew, and all the evil 
spirits vanished. 

At the same moment the crow appeared and hopped all round 
the room with joy. It thanked the Princess most heartily for her 
goodness, and said that its sufferings had already been greatly 
lessened, 




The evil spirits drag the girl to the cauldron 

Now ono of the Princess's elder sisters, who was very inquisi- 
tive, had found out about everything, and went to pay her youngest 
sister a visit in the ruined castle. She implored her so urgently to 
let her spend the night with her in the golden bed, that at last the 
good-natured little Princess consented. But at midnight, when the 
odd folk appeared, the elder sister screamed with terror, and from 
this time on the youngest Princess insisted always on keeping 
watch alone. 

So she lived in solitude all the daytime, and at night she 
would have been frightened, had she not been so bravo; but every 



94 THE CROW 

day the crow came and thanked her for her endurance, and assured 
her that his sufferings were far less than they had been. 

And so two years passed away, when one day the crow came to 
the Princess and said : ' In another year I shall be freed from the 
spell I am under at present, because then the seven years will be 
over. But before I can resume my natural form, and take posses- 
sion of the belongings of my forefathers, yon must go out into the 
world and take service as a maidservant.' 

The young Princess consented at once, and for a whole year 
she served as a maid ; but in spite of her youth and beauty she was 
very badly treated, and suffered many things. One evening, when 
she was spinning flax, and had worked her little white hands 
weary, she heard a rustling beside her and a cry of joy. Then she 
saw a handsome youth standing beside her, who knelt down at her 
feet and kissed the little weary white hands. 

' I am the Prince,' he said, ' who you in your goodness, when I 
was wandering about in the shape of a black crow, freed from the 
most awful torments. Come now to my castle with me, and let 
us live there happily together.' 

So they went to the castle where they had both endured so 
much. But when they reached it, it was difficult to believe that it 
was the same, for it had all been rebuilt and done up again. And 
there they lived for a hundred years, a hundred years of joy and 
happiness, 



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95 



HOW SIX MEN TRAVELLED THBOUGH 
THE WIDE WOULD 

THEKE was once upon a time a man who understood all sorts of 
arts ; he served in the war, and bore himself bravely and well ; 
but when the war was over, he got his discharge, and set out on his 
travels with three farthings of his pay in his pocket. 'Wait,' he 
said ; ' that does not please me ; only let me find the right people, 
and the King shall yet give me all the treasures of his kingdom.' 
He strode angrily into the forest, and there he saw a man standing 
who had uprooted six trees as if they were straws. He said to 
him, ' Will you be my servant and travel with me ? ' 

4 Yes,' he answered ; * but first of all I will take this little bundle 
of sticks home to my mother,' and he took one of the trees and 
wound it round the other five, raised the bundle on his shoulders 
and bore it off. Then he came back and went with his master, 
who said, * We two ought to be able to travel through the wide 
world ! ' And when they had gone a little way they came upon a 
hunter, who was on his knees, his gun on his shoulder, aiming at 
something. The master said to him, ' Hunter, what are yon 
aiming at? ' 

He answered, ' Two miles from this place sits a fly on a branch 
of an oak ; I want to shoot out its left eye' 

' Oh, go with me,' said the man ; ' if we three are together we 
shall easily travel through the wide world. 1 

The hunter agreed and went with him. and they came to seven 
windmills whose sails were going round quite fast, and yet there 
was not a breath of wind, nor was a leaf moving. The man said, 
' I don't know what is turning those windmills; there is not the 
slightest breeze blowing.' So he walked on with his servants, and 
when they had gone two miles they saw a man sitting on a tree, 
holding one of his nostrils and blowing out of the other. 

* Fellow, what are you ptifTmg at up there V * asked the man. 

*. I 



96 HOW SIX MEN TRAVELLED THROUGH 

He replied, ' Two miles from, this place are standing seven 
windmills ; see, I am blowing to drive them round.' 

' Oh, go with me,' said the man ; * if we four are together we 
shall easily travel through the wide world.' 

So the blower got down and went with him, and after a time 
they saw a man who was standing on one leg, and had unstrapped 
the other and laid it near him. Then said the master, ' You have 
made yourself very comfortable to rest ! ' 

' I am a runner,' answered he ; 'and so that I shall not go too 
quickly, I have unstrapped one leg ; when I run with two legs, I 
go faster than a bird flies.' 

' Oh, go with me ; if we five are together, we shall easily travel 
through the wide world.' So he went with him, and, not long after- 
wards, they met a man who wore a little hat, but he had it slouched 
over one ear. 

' Manners, manners ! ' said the master to him ; ' don't hang your 
hat over one ear ; you look like a madman ! ' 

' I dare not,' said the other, * for if I were to put my hat on 
straight, there would come such a frost that the very birds in the 
sky would freeze and fall dead on the earth.' 

' Oh, go with me,' said the master ; ' if we six are together, we 
shall easily travel through the wide world. 

Now the Six came to a town in which the King had proclaimed 
that whoever should run with his daughter in a race, and win, should 
become her husband ; but if he lost, he must lose his head. This 
was reported to the man w T ho declared he would compete, ' but,' he 
said, * I shall let my servant run for me.' 

The King replied, ' Then both yoxir heads must be staked, and 
your head and his must be guaranteed for the w T inner.' 

When this was agreed upon and settled, the man strapped on 
the runner's other leg, saying to him, ' Now be nimble, and see that 
we win ! ' It was arranged that whoever should first bring water 
out of a stream a long way off, should be the victor. Then the 
runner got a pitcher, and the King's daughter another, and they 
began to run at the same time ; but in a moment, when the King's 
daughter was only just a little way off, no spectator could see the 
runner, and it seemed as if the wind had whistled past. In a short 
time he reached the stream, filled his pitcher with water, and turned 
round again. But, half way home, a great drowsiness came over 
him ; he put down his pitcher, lay down, and fell asleep. He had, 
however, put a horse's skull which was lving on the ground, for 



THE WIDE WOULD 



97 



his pillow, so that he should not bo too comfortable and might soon 
wake up. 

In the meantime the King's daughter, who could also run well, 
as well as an ordinary man could, reached the stream, and hastened 
back with her pitcher full of water. When she saw the runner 
lying there asleep, she was delighted, and said, * My enemy is given 
into my hands ! ' She emptied his pitcher and ran on. 

Everything now would have been lost, if by good luck the hunter 
had not been standing on the castle tower and had seen everything 
with his sharp eyes. 








HTF^^nY-l glS CJVE N-| ^ 



'Ah,' said he, 'the King's daughter shall not overreach us;' and, 
loading his gun, he shot so cleverly, that he shot away the horse's 
skull from under tho runner's head, without its hurting him. Then 
the runner awoke, jumped up, and saw that his pitcher was empty 
and the King's daughter far ahead. But ho did not loso courage, 
and ran back to tho stream with his pi teller, filled it once more 
with water, and was home ten minutes beforo tho King's daughter 
arrived. 

' Look,' said he, 'Xhavc only iust oxcrcised my legs ; that was 
nothing of a run/ 

I 2 



98 HOW SIX MEN TRAVELLED THROUGH 

But the King was angry, and his daughter even more so, 
that she should be carried away by a common, discharged soldier. 
They consulted together how they could destroy both him and his 
companions. 

' Then,' said the King to her, ' I have found a way. Don't be 
frightened ; they shall not come home again.' He said to them, 
' You must now make merry together, and cat and drink,' and he led 
them into a room which had a floor of iron ; the doors were also 
of iron, and the windows were barred with iron. In the room was 
a table spread with delicious food. The King said to them, ' Go in 
and enjoy yourselves,' and as soon as they were inside he had the 
doors shut and bolted. Then he made the cook come, and ordered 
him to keep up a large fire under the room until the iron was red- 
hot. The cook did so, and the Six sitting round the table felt it 
grow very warm, and they thought this was because of their good 
fare ; but when the heat became still greater and they wanted to go 
out, but found the doors and windows fastened, then they knew 
that the King meant them harm and was trying to suffocate them. 

* But he shall not succeed,' cried he of the little hat, 'I will make 
a frost come which shall make the fire ashamed and die out ! * 
So he put his hat on straight, and at once there came such a frost 
that all the heat disappeared and the food on the dishes began to 
freeze. When a couple of hours had passed, and the King thought 
they must be quite dead from the heat, he had the doors opened 
and went in himself to see. 

But when the doors were opened, there stood all Six, alive and 
well, saying they were glad they could come out to warm them- 
selves, for the great cold in the room had frozen all the food hard 
in the dishes. Then the King went angrily to the cook, and scolded 
him, and asked him why he had not done what he was told. 

But the cook answered, « There is heat enough there ; see for 
yourself.' Then the King saw a huge fire burning under the iron 
room, and understood that he could do no harm to the Six in this 
way. The King now began again to think how he could free him- 
self from his unwelcome guests. He commanded the master to 
come before him, and said, ' If you will take gold, and give up your 
right to my daughter, you shall have as much as you like.' 

' Oh, yes, your Majesty,' answered he, ' give me as much as my 
servant can carry, and I will give up your daughter.' 

The King was delighted, and the man said, ' I will come and 
fetch it in fourteen days.' 



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THE WIDE WOULD 99 

his shoulder ! ' and he was much frightened, and thought * What 
a lot of gold ho will make away with ! * Then he had a ton of 
gold brought, which sixteen of the strongest men had to carry; but 
the strong man seized it with ono hand, put it in the sack, saying, 
' Why don't you bring me moro ? That scarcely covers the bottom ! ' 
Then the King had to send again and again to fetch his treasures, 
which the strong man shoved into the sack, and the sack was only 
half full. 

' Bring more,' ho cried, ' these crumbs don't fill it. 1 So seven 
thousand waggons of the gold of the whole kingdom were driven 
up ; these the strong man shoved into the sack, oxen and all. 

' I will no longer be particular,' he said, ' and will take what 
comes, so that the sack shall bo full.' 

When everything was put in and there was not yet enough, he 
said, ' I will make an end of this ; it is easy to fasten a sack when 
it is not full.' Then he threw it on his back and went with his 
companions. 

Now, when the King saw how a single man was carrying away 
the wealth of the whole country he was very angry, and made his 
cavalry mount and pursue the Six, and bring back the strong man 
with the sack. Two regiments soon overtook them, and called to 
them, ' You are prisoners ! lay down the sack of gold or you shall 
be cut down.' 

' What do you say ? ' said the blower, ( we are prisoners ? 
Beforo that, you shall dance in the air ! ' And ho held one nostril 
and blew with tho other at the two regiments ; thoy were separated 
and blown away in the bluo sky over tho mountains, one this way, 
and tho other that. A sergeant-major cried for mercy, saying ho 
had nine wounds, and was a bravo fellow, and did not deservo this 
disgrace. So the blower let him off, and ho came down without 
hurt. Then ho said to him, c Now go home to tho King, and say 
that if ho sends any moro cavalry 1 will blow them all into 
tho air.' 

When the King received tho message, he said, ' Let tho fellows 
go ; they are bewitched.' Then tho Six: brought the treasure home, 
shared it among themselves, and lived contentedly till the end of 
their days. 



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100 



THE WIZARD KING 1 



IN very ancient times there lived a King, whose power lay not 
only in the vast extent of his dominions, but also in the magic 
secrets of which he was master. After spending the greater part of 
his early yonth in pleasure, he met a Princess of such remarkable 
beauty that he at once asked her hand in marriage, and, having 
obtained it, considered himself the happiest of men. 

After a year's time a son was born, worthy in every way of such 
distinguished parents, and much admired by the whole Court. As 
soon as the Queen thought him strong enough for a journey she set 
out with him secretly to visit her Fairy godmother. I said secretly, 
because the Fairy had warned the Queen that the King was a magi- 
cian ; and as from time immemorial there had been a standing feud 
between the Fairies and the Wizards, he might not have approved 
of his wife's visit. 

The Fairy godmother, who took the deepest interest in all the 
Queen's concerns, and who was much pleased with the little Prince, 
endowed him with the power of pleasing everybody from his cradle, 
as well as with a wonderful ease in learning everything which could 
help to make him a perfectly accomplished Prince. Accordingly, 
to the delight of his teachers, he made the most rapid progress in 
his education, constantly surpassing everyone's expectations. Be- 
fore he was many years old, however, he had the great sorrow of 
losing his mother, whose last words were to advise him never to 
undertake anything of importance without consulting the Fairy 
under whose protection she had placed him. 

The Prince's grief at the death of his mother was great, but it 
was nothing compared to that of the King, his father, who was 
quite inconsolable for the loss of his dear wife. Neither time nor 
reason seemed to lighten his sorrow, and the sight of all the familiar 
faces and things about him only served to remind him of his loss. 
* From Les Fies illustres. 



THE WIZARD KING 101 

He therefore resolved to travel for change, and by means of his 
magic art was able to visit every country he came to see under 
different shapes, returning every few weeks to the place where he 
had left a few followers. 

Having travelled from land to land in this fashion without find- 
ing anything to rivet his attention, it occurred to him to take the 
form of an eagle, and in this shape he flew across many countries 
and arrived at length in a new and lovely spot, where the air 
seemed filled with the scent of jessamine and orange flowers with 
which the ground was thickly planted. Attracted by the sweet 
perfume he flew lower, and perceived some large and beautiful 
gardens filled with the rarest flowers, and with fountains throwing 
up their clear waters into the air in a hundred different shapes. A 
wide stream flowed through the garden, and on it floated richly 
ornamented barges and gondolas filled with people dressed in the 
most elegant manner and covered with jewels. 

In one of these barges sat the Queen of that country with hor 
only daughter, a maiden more beautiful than the Day Star, and 
attended by the ladies of the Court. No more exquisitely lovely 
mortal was ever seen than this Princess, and it needed all an eagle's 
strength of sight to prevent the King being hopelessly dazzled. He 
perched on the top of a large orange tree, whence he was able to 
survey the scene and to gaze at pleasure on the Princess's charms. 

Now, an eagle with a King's heart in his breast is apt to be bold, 
and accordingly he instantly made up his mind to carry off the 
lovely damsel, feeling sure that having once seen her he could not 
live without her. 

He waited till he saw her in the act of stepping ashore, when, 
suddenly swooping down, he carried her off before her equerry in 
attendance had advanced to offer her his hand. The Princess, on 
finding herself in an eagle's talons, uttered the most heart-breaking 
shrieks and cries; but her captor, though touched by her distress, 
would not abandon his lovely prey, and continued to lly through 
the air too fast to allow of his saying anything to comfort her. 

At length, when he thought they had readied a safe distance, 
he began to lower his flight, and gradually descending to earth, de- 
posited his burden in a flowery meadow. He then entreated her 
pardon for his violence, and told her that ho was about to carry her 
to a great kingdom over which he ruled, and where he desired she 
should rule with him, adding many tender and consoling expres- 
sions. Digitized by Microsoft®) 



102 



THE WIZARD KING 



For some time the Princess remained speechless ; but recovering 
herself a little, she burst into a flood of tears. The King, much 
moved, said, 'Adorable Princess, dry your tears. I implore you. 
My only wish is to make you the happiest person in the world.' 

* If you speak truth, my lord,' replied the Princess, ( restore to 
me the liberty you have deprived me of. Otherwise I can only look 
on you as my worst enemy.' 

The King retorted that her opposition filled him with despair, 














The Princess and the eagle in the flowery meadow 



but that he hoped to carry her to a place where all around would 
respect her, and where every pleasure would surround her. So 
saying, he seized her once more, and in spite of all her cries he 
rapidly bore her off to the neighbourhood of his capital. Here he 
gently placed her on a lawn, and as he did so she saw a magnificent 
palace spring up at her feet. The architecture was imposing, and 
in the interior the rooms were handsome and furnished in the best 
possible taste. 

The Princess, who expected to be quite alone, was pleased at 



THE WIZABD KING 103 

finding herself surrounded by a number of pretty girls, all anxious 
to wait on her, whilst a brilliantly-coloured parrot said the most 
agreeable things in the world. 

On arriving at this palace the King had resumed his own form, 
and though no longer young, ho might well have pleased any other 
than this Princess, who had been so prejudiced against him by his 
violence that she could only regard him with feelings of hatred, 
which she was at no pains to conceal. The King hoped, however, 
that time might not only soften her anger, but accustom her to his 
sight. He took the precaution of surrounding the palace with a 
dense cloud, and then hastened to his Court, where his prolonged 
absence was causing much anxiety. 

The Prince and all the courtiers were delighted to see their 
beloved King again, but they had to submit themselves to more 
frequent absences than ever on his part. He made business a pre- 
text for shutting himself up in his study, but it was really in 
order to spend the time with the Princess, who remained in- 
flexible. 

Not being able to imagine what could be the cause of so much 
obstinacy tlio King began to fear, lest, in spite of all his pre- 
cautions, she might havo heard of the charms of the Prince his son, 
whose goodness, youth and beauty, made him adored at Court, 
This idea made him horribly uneasy, and he resolved to remove the 
cause of his fears by sending the Prince on his travels escorted by 
a magnificent retinue. 

The Trincc, after visiting several Courts, arrived at the one 
where the lost Princess was still deeply mourned. The King and 
Queen received him most graciously, and some festivities were 
revived to do him honour. 

One day when the Prince was visiting the Queen in her own 
apartments ho was much struck by a most beautiful portrait. He 
eagerly inquired whose it was, and the Queen, with many tears, 
told him it was all that was left her of her beloved daughter, who 
had suddenly been carried off, she knew neither where nor how. 

The Prince was deeply moved, and vowed that he would search 
the world for the Princess, and tako no rest till ho had found and 
restored her to her mother's arms. The Queen assured him of her 
eternal gratitude, and promised, should he succeed, to givo him 
her daughter in marriage, together with all the estates she herself 
owned. 

The Prince, far mora attracted by th^ thoughts of possessing the 



104 THE WIZARD KING 

Princess than her promised dower, set forth in his quest after 
taking leave of the King and Queen, the latter giving him a 
miniature of her daughter which she was in the habit of wearing. 
His first act was to seek the Fairy under whose protection he had 
been placed, and he implored her to give him all the assistance of 
her art and counsel in this important matter. 

After listening attentively to the whole adventure, the Fairy 
asked for time to consult her books. After due consideration she 
informed the Prince that the object of his search was not far 
distant, but that it was too difficult for him to attempt to enter the 
enchanted palace where she was, as the King his father had 
surrounded it with a thick cloud, and that the only expedient she 
could think of would be to gain possession of the Princess's parrot. 
This, she added, did not appear impossible, as it often flew about to 
some distance in the neighbourhood. 

Having told the Prince all this, the Fairy went out in hopes of 
seeing the parrot, and soon returned with the bird in her hand. 
She promptly shut it up in a cage, and, touching the Prince with 
her wand, transformed him into an exactly similar parrot; after 
which, she instructed him how to reach the Princess. 

The Prince reached the palace in safety, but was so dazzled at 
first by the Princess's beauty, which far surpassed his expectations* 
that he was quite dumb for a time. The Princess was surprised 
and anxious, and fearing the parrot, who was her greatest comfort, 
had fallen ill, she took him in her hand and caressed him. This 
soon reassured the Prince, and encouraged him to play his part 
well, and he began to say a thousand agreeable things which 
charmed the Princess. 

Presently the King appeared, and the parrot noticed with joy 
how much he was disliked. As soon as the King left, the Princess 
retired to her dressing-room, the parrot flew after her and over- 
heard her lamentations at the continued persecutions of the King, 
who had pressed her to consent to their marriage. The parrot said 
so many clever and tender things to comfort her that she began to 
doubt whether this could indeed be her own parrot. 

When he saw her well-disposed towards him, he exclaimed : 
' Madam, I have a most important secret to confide to you, and J 
beg you not to be alarmed by what I am about to say I am here 
on behalf of the Queen your mother, with the object of delivering 
your Highness ; to prove which, behold this portrait which she gave 
me herself.' So saying he drew forth the miniature from under 



THE WIZARD KIXG 



105 



his wing. The Princess's surprise was great, but after what she 
had seen and heard it was impossible not to indulge in hope, for 
she had recognised the likeness of herself which her mother always 
wore. 




The Wizard King pays a visit to the Princes3 



The parrot, finding sho was not much alarmed, told her 
who he was, all that her mother had promised him and the 
help ho had already received from a Fairy who had assured him 
that sho would give him means to transport the Princess to her 

mothers arms. Digitized by Microsoft 



106 THE WIZARD KING 

When he found her listening attentively to him, he implored the 
Princess to allow him to resume his natural shape. She did not 
speak, so he drew a feather from his wing, and she beheld before 
her a Prince of such surpassing beauty that it was impossible not 
to hope that she might owe her liberty to so charming a person. 

Meantime the Fairy had prepared a chariot, to which she har- 
nessed two powerful eagles ; chen placing the cage, with the parrot 
in it, she charged the bird to conduct it to the window of the 
Princess's dressing-room. This was done in a few minutes, and 
the Princess, stepping into the chariot with the Prince, was delighted 
to find her parrot again. 

As they rose through the air the Princess remarked a figure 
mounted on an eagle's back flying in front of the chariot. She was 
rather alarmed, but the Prince reassured her, telling her it was the 
good Fairy to whom she owed so much, and who was now conducting 
her in safety to her mother. 

That same morning the King woke suddenly from a troubled 
sleep. He had dreamt that the Princess was being carried off from 
him, and, transforming himself into an eagle, he flew to the palace. 
When he failed to find her he flew into a terrible rage, and hastened 
home to consult his books, by which means he discovered that it 
was his son who had deprived him of this precious treasure. 
Immediately he took the shape of a harpy, and, filled with rage, 
was determined to devour his son, and even the Princess too, if only 
he coTild overtake them. 

He set out at full speed; but he started too late, and was further 
delayed by a strong wind which the Fairy raised behind the young 
couple so as to baffle any pursuit. 

Yon may imagine the rapture with which the Queen received 
the daughter she had given up for lost, as well as the amiable 
Prince who had rescued her. The Fairy entered with them, and 
warned the Queen that the Wizard King would shortly arrive, in- 
furiated by his loss, and that nothing could preserve the Prince and 
Princess from his rage and magic unless they were actually married. 

The Queen hastened to inform the King her husband, and the 
wedding took place on the spot. 

As the ceremony was completed the Wizard King arrived. His 
despair at being so late bewildered him so entirely that he appeared 
in his natural form and attempted to sprinkle some black liquid over 
the bride and bridegroom, which was intended to kill them, but the 
Fairy stretched out her wand and the liquid. dropped on the Magician 



THE WIZARD KING 107 

himself. He fell down senseless, and the Princess's father, deeply 
offended at the cruel revenge which had been attempted, ordered 
him to be removed and locked up in prison. 

Now as magicians lose all their power as soon as they are in 
prison, the King felt himself much embarrassed at being thus at the 
mercy of thoso he had so greatly offended. The Prince implored 
and obtained his father's pardon, and the prison doors were opened. 

No sooner was this done than the Wizard King was seen in the 
air under the form of some unknown bird, exclaiming as he flew off 
that he would never forgive either his son or the Fairy the cruel 
wrong they had done him. 

Everyone entreated the Fairy to settle in the kingdom where 
she now was, to which she consented. She built herself a magni- 
ficent palace, to which she transported her books and fairy secrets, 
and where she enjoyed the sight of the perfect happiness she had 
helped to bestow on the entire royal family. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



108 



TEE NIXY 



THERE was once upon a time a miller who was very well off, 
and had as much money and as many goods as he knew what 
to do with. But sorrow comes in the night, and the miller all of a 
sudden became so poor that at last he could hardly call the mill in 
which he sat his own. He wandered about all day full of despair 
and misery, and when he lay down at night he could get no rest, 
Imt lay awake all night sunk in sorrowful thoughts. 

One morning he rose up before dawn and went oirtside, for he 
thought his heart would be lighter in the open air. As he wandered 
up and down on the banks of the mill-pond he heard a rustling in 
the water, and when he looked near he saw a white woman rising 
up from the waves. 

He realised at once that this could be none other than the 
nixy of the mill-pond, and in his terror he didn't know if he should 
fly away or remain where he was. While he hesitated the nixy 
spoke, called him by his name, and asked him why he was so sad. 

When the miller heard how friendly her tone was, he plucked 
up heart and told her how rich and prosperous he had been all his 
life up till now, when he didn't know what he was to do for want 
and misery. 

Then the nixy spoke comforting words to him, and promised 
that she would make him richer and more prosperous than he had 
ever been in his life before, if he would give her in return the 
yoimgest thing in his house. 

The miller thought she must mean one of his puppies or kittens, 
so promised the nixy at once what she asked, and returned to his mill 
full of hope. On the threshold he was greeted by a servant with 
the news that his wife had just given birth to a boy. 

The poor miller was much horrified by these tidings, and went 
in to his wife with a heavy heart to tell her and his relations of the 
1 From the German. Kletke: 



THE NIXY 100 

fatal bargain he bad just struck with the nixy. ' 1 would gladly give 
up all the good fortune she promised me,' ho said, ' if I could only 




The miller sees the nixy of the mill-pond 

save my child.' But no one could think of any advice to give him, 
beyond taking care that the child never went near tho mill-pond, 

*• K 



110 THE NIXY 

So the boy throve and grew big, and in the meantime all 
prospered with the miller, and in a few years he was richer than 
he had ever been before. But all the same he did not enjoy his 
good fortune, for he could not forget his compact with the nixy, 
and he knew that sooner or later she would demand his fulfilment 
of it. But year after year went by, and the boy grew up and be- 
came a great hunter, and the lord of the land took him into his 
service, for he was as smart and bold a hunter as you would wish 
to see. In a short time he married a pretty young wife, and lived 
with her in great peace and happiness. 

One day when he was out hunting a hare sprang up at his feet, 
and ran for some way in front of him in the open field. The 
hunter pursued it hotly for some time, and at last shot it dead. 
Then he proceeded to skin it, never noticing that he was close to 
the mill-pond, which from childhood up he had been taught to 
avoid. He soon finished the skinning, and went to the water to 
wash the blood off his hands. He had hardly dipped them in the 
pond when the nixy rose up in the water, and seizing him in her 
wet arms she dragged him down with her under the waves. 

When the hunter did not come home in the evening his wife 
grew very anxious, and when his game bag was found close to the 
mill-pond she guessed at once what had befallen him. She was 
nearly beside herself with grief, and roamed round and round the 
pond calling on her husband without ceasing. At last, worn out 
with sorrow and fatigue, she fell asleep and dreamt that she was 
wandering along a flowery meadow, when she came to a hut where 
she found an old witch, who promised to restore her husband to her. 

When she awoke next morning she determined to set out and 
find the witch ; so she wandered on for many a day, and at last 
she reached the flowery meadow and found the hut where the old 
witch lived. The poor wife told her all that had happened and 
how she had been told in a dream of the witch's power to help her. 

The witch counselled her to go to the pond the first time there 
was a full moon, and to comb her black hair with a golden comb, 
and then to place the comb on the bank. The hunter's wife gave 
the witch a handsome present, thanked her heartily, and returned 
home. 

Time dragged heavily till the time of the full moon, but it 
passed at last, and as soon as it rose the young wife went to the 
pond, combed her black hair with a golden comb, and when she had 
finished, placed the comb on the bank ; then she watched the water 



THE NIXY 111 

impatiently. Soon she heard a rushing sound, and a big wave rose 
suddenly and swept the comb off the bank, and a minute after the 
head of her husband rose from the pond and gazed sadly at 
her. But immediately another wave came, and the head sank 
back into the water without having said a word. The pond lay 
still and motionless, glittering in the moonshine, and the hunter's 
wife was not a bit better off than she had been before. 

In despair she wandered about for days and nights, and at last, 
worn out by fatigue, she sank once more into a deep sleep, and 
dreamt exactly the same dream about the old witch. So next 
morning she went again to the flowery meadow and sought the 
witch in her hut, and told her of her grief. The old woman counselled 
her to go to the mill-pond the next full moon and play upon a 
golden ilutc, and then to lay the flute on the bank. 

As soon as the next moon was full the hunter's wife went to 
the mill-pond, played on a golden llutc, and when she had finished 
placed it on the bank. Then a rushing sound was heard, and a 
wave swept the flute off the bank, and soon the head of the hunter 
appeared and rose up higher and higher till he was half out of the 
water. Then he gazed sadly at his wife and stretched out his arms 
towards her. But another rushing wave arose and dragged him 
under once more. The hunter's wife, who had stood on the bank 
full of joy and hope, sank into despair when she saw her husband 
snatched away again before her eyes. 

But for her comfort she dreamt the same dream a third time, 
and betook herself once more to the old witch's hut in the flowery 
meadow. This time the old woman told her to go the next full 
moon to the mill-pond, and to spin there with a golden spinning- 
wheel, and then to leave the spinning-wheel on the bank. 

The hunter's wife did as she was advised, and the first night 
the moon was full she sat and spun with a golden spinning- 
wheel, and then left the wheel on the bank. In a few minutes a 
rushing sound was heard in the waters, and a wave swept the 
spinning-wheel from the bank. Immediately the head of the hunter 
rose up from the pond, getting higher and higher each moment, 
till at length he stepped on to tho bank and fell on his wife's neck. 

But the waters of the pond rose up suddenly, overflowed 
the bank where the couple stood, and drugged them under the 
flood. In her despair the young wife called on the old witch to 
help her, and in a moment the hunter was turned into a frog and 
his wife into a toad. But they were not able to renmin together, 

k2 



112 



THE NIXY 



for the water tore them apart, and when the flood was over they 
both resumed their own shapes again, but the hunter and the 
hunter's wife found themselves each in a strange country, and 
neither knew what had become of the other. 

The hunter determined to become a shepherd, and hi3 wife 




* A wave swept the spinning-wheel from the bank ' 

too became a shepherdess. So they herded their sheep for many 
years in solitude and sadness. 

Now it happened once that the shepherd came to the country 
where the shepherdess lived. The neighbourhood pleased him, and 
he saw that the pasture was rich and suitable for his flocks. So he 
brought his sheep there, and herded them as before. The shepherd 
OJid shepherdess became great friends, but they did not recognise 
each other in the least. CrOSOFl® 



THE NIXY 113 

But one evening when the moon was full they sat together 
watching their Hocks, and the shepherd played upon his flute. 
Then the shepherdess thought of that evening when she had sat 
at the full moon by the mill-pond and had played on the golden 
flute ; the recollection was too much for her, and she burst into 
tears. The shepherd asked her why she was crying, and left her 
no peace till she told him all her story. Then the scales fell 
from the shepherd's eyes, and lie recognised his wife, and she 
him. So they returned joyfully to their own home, and lived in 
peace and happiness ever after 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



114 



THE GLASS MOUNTAIN 1 



ONCE upon a time there was a Glass Mountain at the top of winch 
stood a castle made of pure gold, and in front of the castle 
there grew an apple-tree on which there were golden apples. 

Anyone who picked an apple gained admittance into the golden 
castle, and there in a silver room sat an enchanted Trincess of sur- 
passing fairness and beaut} 7 . She was as rich too as she was beautiful, 
for the cellars of the castle were full of precious stones, and great 
chests of the finest gold stood round the walls of all the rooms. 

Many knights had come from afar to try their luck, but it was 
in vain they attempted to climb the mountain. In spite of having 
their- horses shod with sharp nails, no one managed to get more 
than half-way up, and then they all fell back right down to the 
bottom of the steep slippery hill^ Sometimes they broke an arm, 
sometimes a leg, and many a brave man had broken his neck even. 

The beautiful Princess sat at her window and watched the bold 
knights trying to reach her on their splendid horses. The sight of 
her always gave men fresh courage, and they flocked from the four 
quarters of the globe to attempt the work of rescuing her. But all 
in vain, and for seven years the Trincess had sat now and waited 
for some one to scale the Glass Mountain. 

A heap of corpses both of riders and horses lay round the moun- 
tain, and many dying men lay groaning there unable to go any 
farther with their wounded limbs. The whole neighbourhood had 
the appearance of a vast churclryard. In three more days the seven 
years would be at an end, when a knight in golden armour and 
mounted on a spirited steed was seen making his way towards the 
fatal hill. 

Sticking his spurs into his horse he made a rush at the moun- 
tain, and got up half-way, then he calmly turned his horse's head 
and came down again without a slip or stumble. The following 
1 Prom the Polish. Kletke. 



Digi 



THE GLASS MOUNTAIN 115 

day he started in the same way ; the horse trod on the glass as if it 
had been level earth, and sparks of fire flew from its hoofs. All the 
other knights gazed in astonishment, for lie had almost gained the 
summit, and in another moment he would have reached the apple- 
tree ; but of a sudden a huge eagle rose up and spread its mighty 
wings, hitting as it did so the knight's horse in the eye. The beast 
shied, opened its wide nostrils and tossed its mane, then rearing 
high up in the air, its hind feet slipped and it fell with its rider 
down the steep mountain side. Nothing was left of either of them 
except their bones, which rattled in the battered golden armour like 
dry peas in a pod. 

And now there was only one more day before the close of the 
seven years. Then there arrived on the scene a mere schoolboy — 
a merry, happy-hearted youth, but at the same time strong and 
well-grown. He saw how many knights had broken their necks in 
vain, but undaunted he approached the steep mountain on foot and 
began the ascent. 

For long he had heard his parents speak of the beautiful Princess 
who sat in the golden castle at the top of the Glass Mountain. He 
listened to all he heard, and determined that he too would try his 
luck. But first he went to the forest and caught a tynx, and cutting 
off the creature's sharp claws, he fastened them on to his own hands 
and feet. 

Armed with these weapons he boldly started up the Glass 
Mountain. The sun was nearly going down, and the youth had not 
got more than half-way up. He could hardly draw breath ho was 
so worn out, and his mouth was parched by thirst. A huge black 
cloud passed over his head, but in vain did he beg and beseech her 
to let a drop of water fall on him. He opened his month, but the 
black cloud sailed past and not as much as a drop of dew moistoned 
his dry lips. 

His feet were torn and bleeding, and he could only hold on now 
with his hands. Evening closed in, and he strained his eyes to see if 
he could behold the top of the mountain. Then he gazed beneath 
him, and what a sight met his eyes! A yawning abyss, with cer- 
tain and terrible death at the bottom, reeking with half-decayed 
bodies of horses and riders ! And this had been the end of all tho 
other bravo men who like himself had attempted tho ascent. 

It was almost pitch dark now, and only tho stars lit up the Glass 
Mountain^ The poor boy still clung on as if glued to the glass by 
his blood-stained hands. He made no struggle to&et higher, for all 



116 



THE GLASS MOUNTAIN 



his strength had left him, arid seeing no hope he calmly awaited 
death. Then all of a sudden he fell into a deep sleep, and forgetful 




The boy attacked by the eagle on the Glass Mountain 

c^ his dangerous position, he slumbered sweetly. But all the same, 
although he slept, he had stuck his sharp claws so firmly into the 
glass that he was quite safe not to fall. 



THE GLASS MOUNTAIN 117 

Now the golden apple-tree was guarded by the eagle which had 
overthrown the golden knight and his horse. Every night it flew 
round the Glass Mountain keeping a careful look-out, and no sooner 
had the moon emerged from the clouds than the bird rose up from 
the apple- tree, and circling round in the air, caught sight of the 
sleeping youth, 

Greedy for carrion, and sure that this must be a fresh corpse, 
the bird swooped down upon the boy. But lie was awake now, and 
perceiving the eagle, he determined by its help to save himself. 

The eagle dug its sharp claws into the tender flesh of the youth, 
but he bore the pain without a sound, and seized the bird's two feet 
with his hands. The creature in terror lifted him high up into the 
air and began to circle round the tower of the castle. The youth 
held on bravely. He saw the glittering palace, which by the pale 
rays of the moon looked like a dim lamp ; and he saw the high 
windows, and round one of them a balcony in which the beautiful 
Princess sat lost in sad thoughts. Then the bo} 7 saw that he was 
close to the apple-tree, and drawing a small knife from his belt, ho 
cut off both the eagle's feet. The bird rose up in the air in its agony 
and vanished into the clouds, and the youth fell on to the broad 
branches of the apple-tree. 

Then he drew out the claws of the eagle's feet that had remained 
in his flesh, and put the peel of one of the golden apples on the 
wound, and in one moment it was healed and well again. He 
pulled several of the beautiful apples and put them in his pocket ; 
then he entered the castle. The door was guarded by a great 
dragon, but as soon as he threw an apple at it, the beast vanished. 

At the same moment a gate opened, and the youth perceived a 
court3 T ard full of flowers and beautiful trees, and on a balcony sat 
the lovely enchanted Princess with her retinue. 

As soon as she saw the youth, she ran towards him and greeted 
him as her husband and master. She gave him all her treasures, 
and the youth became a rich and mighty ruler. But he never re- 
turned to the earth, for only the mighty eagle, who had been the 
guardian of the Princess and of the castle, could have carried on his 
wings the enormous treasure down to the world. But as the eagle 
had lost its feet it died, and its body was found in a wood on the 
Glass Mountain. 

One day when the, youth was strolling about in the palace garden 
with the Princess, his wife, ho looked down over the edge of the 



118 THE GLASS MOUNTAIN 

Glass Mountain and saw to bis astonishment a great number of 
people gathered there. He blew his silver whistle, and the swallow 
who acted as messenger in the golden castle flew past. 

' Fly down and ask what the matter is,' he said to the little bird, 
who sped off like lightning and soon returned saying: 

'The blood of the eagle has restored all the people below to life. 
All those who have perished on this mountain are awakening up 
to-day, as it were from a sleep, and are mounting their horses, and 
the whole population are gazing on this unheard-of wonder with 
joy and amazement.' 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



119 



ALPHEGE, OB THE GREEN MONKEY 

MAN7 years ago there lived a King, who was twice married. 
His first wife, a good and beautiful woman, died at the birth 
of her little son, and the King her husband was so overwhelmed 
with grief at her loss that his only comfort was in the sight of his 
heir. 

When the time for the young Prince's christening came tho 
King chose as godmother a neighbouring Princess, so celebrated 
for her wisdom and goodness that she was commonly called * the 
Good Queen.' She named the baby Alphege, and from that moment 
took him to her heart. 

Time wipes away the greatest griefs, and after two or three years 
the King married again. His second wife was a Princess of undeni- 
able beauty, but by no means of so amiable a disposition as the 
first Queen. In due time a second Prince was born, and the Queen 
was devoured with rage at the thought that Prince Alphege came 
between her son and the throne. She took care however to conceal 
her jealous feelings from the King. 

At length she could control herself no longer, so she sent a trusty 
servant to her old and faithful friend the Fairy of the Mountain, to 
beg her to devise some means by which she might get rid of her 
stepson. 

The Fairy replied that, much as she desired to be agreeable to tho 
Queen in every way, it was impossible for her to attempt anything 
against the young Prince, who was under the protection of some 
greater Power than her own. 

The ' Good Queen ' on her side watched carefully over her god- 
son. She was obliged to do so from a distance, her own country 
being a remote one, but she was well informed of all that went on 
and knew all about the Queen's wicked designs. She therefore 
sent the Prince a large and splendid ruby, with injunctions to wear 
it night and day as it would protect him from all attacks, but added 
that the talisman only retained its power as long as the Prince re* 



120 ALPHEGE, OB THE GREEN MONKEY 

ruained within his father's dominions. The Wicked Queen knowing 
this made every attempt to get the Prince out of the country, but 
her efforts failed, till one day accident did what she was unable to 
accomplish. 

The King had an only sister who was deeply attached to him, 
and who was married to the sovereign of a distant country. She 
had always kept up a close correspondence with her brother, and 
the accounts she heard of Prince Alphege made her long to become 
acquainted with so charming a nephew. She entreated the King 
to allow the Prince to visit her, and after some hesitation which 
was overruled by his wife, he finally consented. 

Prince Alphege was at this time fourteen years old, and the 
handsomest and most engaging youth imaginable. In his infancy 
he had been placed in the charge of one of the great ladies of the 
Court, who, according to the prevailing custom, acted first as his 
head nurse and then as his governess. Wlien he outgrew her 
care her husband was appointed as his tutor and governor, so that 
he had never been separated from this excellent couple, who loved 
him as tenderly as they did their only daughter Zayda, and were 
warmly loved by him in return. 

When the Prince set forth on his travels it was but natural that 
this devoted couple should accompany him, and accordingly he 
started with them and attended by a numerous retinue. 

For some time he travelled through his father's dominions and 
all went well ; but soon after passing the frontier they had to cross 
a desert plain under a burning sun. They were glad to take shelter 
under a group of trees near, and here the Prince complained of 
burning thirst. Luckily a tiny stream ran close by and some water 
was soon procured, but no sooner had he tasted it than he sprang 
from his carriage and disappeared in a moment. In vain did his 
anxious followers seek for him, he was nowhere to be found. 

As they were hunting and shouting through the trees a great 
black monkey suddenly appeared on a point of rock and said : 
* Poor sorrowing people, you are seeking your Prince in vain. 
Return to your own country and know that he will not be restored 
to you till you have for some time failed to recognise him.' 

With these words he vanished, leaving the courtiers sadly per- 
plexed ; but as all their efforts to find the Prince were useless they 
had no choice but to go home, bringing with them the sad news, 
which so greatly distressed the King that he fell ill and died not 
long after. 



ALPHEGE, OR THE GREEN MONKEY 121 

The Queen, whose ambition was boundless, was delighted to see 
the crown on her son's head and to have the power in her own hands. 
Her hard rule made her very unpopular, and it was commonly be- 
lieved that she had made away with Prince Alphege. Indeed, had 
the King her son not been deservedly beloved a revolution would 
cenainly have arisen. 

Meantime the former governess of the unfortunate Alphege, 
who had lost her husband soon after the King's death, retired to 




The King makes friends with the Green Monkey 



her own house with her daughter, who grew up a lovely and most 
loveable girl, and both continued to mourn the los'S of their dear 
Prince. 

The young King was devoted to hunting, and often indulged in 
his favourite pastime, attended by the noblest youths in his king- 
dom. One day, after a long morning's chase lie stopped to rest 
near a brook in the shade of a little wood, where a splendid tent 
had been prepared for liim. "Whilst at luncheon he suddenly spied 
a little monkey of the brightest green sitting on a tree and gazing 



122 ALPHEGE, OR THE GREEN MONKEY 

so tenderly at hiin that he felt quite moved. He forbade his 
courtiers to frighten it, and the monkey, noticing how much atten- 
tion was being paid him, sprang from bough to bough, and at length 
gradually approached the King, who offered him some food. The 
monkey took it very daintily and finally came to the table. The 
King took him on his knees, and, delighted with his capture, brought 
him home with him. He would trust no one else with its care, 
and the whole Court soon talked of nothing but the pretty green 
monkey. 

One morning, as Prince Alphege's governess and her daughter 
were alone together, the little monkey sprang in through an open 
window. He had escaped from the palace, and his manners were 
so gentle and caressing that Zayda and her mother soon got over the 
first fright he had given them. He had spent some time with them 
and quite won their hearts by his insinuating ways, when the King 
discovered where lie was and sent to fetch him back. But the 
monkey made such piteous cries, and seemed so unhappy when 
anyone attempted to catch him, that the two ladies begged the 
King to leave him a little longer with them, to which he consented. 

One evening, as they sat by the fountain in the garden, the 
little monkey kept gazing at Zayda with such sad and loving eyes 
that she and her mother could not think what to make of it, and 
they were still more surprised when they saw big tears rolling 
down his cheeks. 

Next day both mother and daughter were sitting in a jessamine 
bower in the garden, and they began to talk of the green monkey 
and his strange ways. The mother said, * My dear child, I can no 
longer hide my feelings from you. I cannot get the thought out of 
my mind that the green monkey is no other than our beloved 
Prince Alphege, transformed in this strange fashion. I know the 
idea sounds wild, but I cannot get it out of my heart, and it leaves 
me no peace.' 

As she spoke she glanced up, and there sat the little monkey, 
whose tears and gestures seemed to confirm her words. 

The following night the elder lady dreamt that she saw the 
Good Queen, who said, ' Do not weep any longer but follow my 
directions. Go into your garden and lift up the little marble slab 
at the foot of the great myrtle tree. You will find beneath it a 
crystal vase filled with a bright green liquid. Take it with you 
and place the thing which is at present most in your thoughts into 
a bath filled with roses and rub it well with the green liquid.' 



ALPHEGE, OB THE GREEN MONKEY 



123 



At these words the sleeper awoke, and lost no time in rising 
and hurrying to the garden, where she found all as the Good Queen 
had described. Then she hastened to rouse her daughter and to- 
gether they prepared the bath, for they would not let their women 
know what they were about. Zayda gathered quantities of 




{ TRe J Qr e erj Nor^H^e ?£> MC ^P~ 



roses, and when all was ready they put the monkey into a large 
jasper bath, where the mother rubbed hirn all over with the green 
liquid. 

Their suspense was not long, for suddenly tho monkey skin 
dropped off, and there stood Prince Alphegc, the handsomest and 
most charming of men. The joy of such a rnecfing was beyond 



124 ALPHEGE, OB THE GREEN MONKEY 

words. After a time the ladies begged the Prince to relate his 
adventures, ^and he told them of all his sufferings in the desert when 
he was first transformed. His only comfort had been in visits from 
the Good Queen, who had at length put him in the way of meeting 
his brother. 

Several days were spent in these interesting conversations, but 
at length Zayda's mother began to think of the best means for 
placing the Prince on the throne, which was his by right. 

The Queen on her side was feeling very anxious. She had felt 
sure from the first that her son's pet monkey was no other than 
Prince Alphege, and she longed to put an end to him. Her sus- 
picions were confirmed by the Fairy of the Mountain, and she 
hastened in tears to the King, her son. 

' I am informed,' she cried, ' that some ill-disposed people have 
raised up an impostor in the hopes of dethroning you, You must 
at once have him put to death.' 

The King, who was very brave, assured the Queen that he 
would soon punish the conspirators. He made careful inquiries 
into the matter, and thought it hardly probable that a quiet widow 
and a young girl would think of attempting anything of the nature 
of a revolution. 

He determined to go and see them, and to find out the truth 
for himself; so one night, without saying anything to the Queen or 
his ministers, he set out for the palace where the two ladies lived, 
attended only by a small band of followers. 

The two ladies were at the moment deep in conversation with 
Prince Alphege, and hearing a knocking so late at night begged 
him to keep out of sight for a time. What was their surprise when 
the door was opened to see the King and his suite. 

' I know,' said the King, * that you are plotting against my 
crown and person, and I have come to have an explanation with 
you.' 

As she was abont to answer Prince Alphege, who had heard all, 
came forward and said, * It is from me you must ask an explana- 
tion, brother.' He spoke with snch grace and dignity that every- 
one gazed at him with mute surprise. 

At length the King, recovering from his astonishment at recognis- 
ing the brother who had been lost some years before, exclaimed, 
'Yes, you are indeed my brother, and now that I have found you, 
take the throne to which I have no longer a right.' So saying, he 
respectfully kissed the Prince's hand. 



ALPHEGE, OB THE GREEN MONKEY 125 

Alpbege threw himself into his arms, and the brothers hastened 
to the royal palace, where in the presence of the entire court he 
received the crown from his brother's hand. To clear away any 
possible doubt, he showed the ruby which the Good Queen had given 
him in his childhood. As they were gazing at it, it suddenly split 
with a loud noise, and at the same moment the Wicked Queen 
expired. 

King Alphege lost no time in marrying his dear and lovely 
Zayda, and his joy was complete when the Good Queen appeared at 
his wedding. She assured him that the Fairy of the Mountain had 
henceforth lost all power over him, and after spending come time 
with the young couple, and bestowing the most costly presents on 
them, she retired to her own country. 

King Alphege insisted on his brother sharing his throne, and 
the} T all lived to a good old age, universally beloved and admired. 



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126 



FAIBER-THAN-A-FAIBY 



ONCE there lived a King who had no children for many years 
after his marriage. At length heaven granted him a daughter 
of such remarkable beauty that he could think of no name so 
appropriate for her as ' Fairer-than-a-Fairy.' 

It never occurred to the good-natured monarch that such a name 
was certain to call down the hatred and jealousy of the fairies in a 
body on the child, but this was what happened. No sooner had 
they heard of this presumptuous name than they resolved to gain 
possession of her who bore it, and either to torment her cruelly, or 
at least to conceal her from the eyes of all men. 

The eldest of their tribe was entrusted to carry out their revenge. 
This Fairy was named Lagree ; she was so old that she only had 
one eye and one tooth left, and even these poor remains she had to 
keep all night in a strengthening liquid. She was also so spiteful 
that she gladly devoted all her time to carrying out all the mean 
or ill-natured tricks of the whole body of fairies. 

With her large experience, added to her native spite, she found 
but little difficulty in carrying off Fairer-than-a-Fairy. The poor 
child, who was only seven years old, nearly died of fear on finding 
herself in the power of this hideous creature. However, when 
after an hour's journey underground she found herself in a splendid 
palace with lovely gardens, she felt a little reassured, and was 
further cheered when she discovered that her pet cat and dog had 
- followed her. 

The old Fairy led her to a pretty room which she said should be 
hers, at the same time giving her the strictest orders never to let out 
the fire which was burning brightly in the grate. She then gave two 
glass bottles into the Princess's charge, desiring her to take the 
greatest care of them, and having enforced her orders with the 
most awful threats in case of disobedience, she vanished, leaving 
the little girl at liberty to explore the palace and grounds and a 



FAIBEB-THAN-A-FAIRY 



127 



good deal relieved at having only two apparently easy tasks set 
her. 

Several years passed, during which time the Princess grew 
accustomed to her lonely life, obeyed the Fairy's orders, and by 
degrees forgot all about the court of the King her father. 

One day, whilst passing near a fountain in the garden, she 
noticed that the sun's rays fell on the water in such a manner as to 
produce a brilliant rainbow. She stood still to admire it, when, to 
her great surprise, she heard a voice addressing her which seemed 




LAGIFUEX ^iivajs ibis % fo&tU<&$ 

to coino from the centre of its rays. The voice was that of a young 
man, and its sweetness of tone and the agreeable things it uttered, 
led one to infer that its owner must be equally charming ; but this 
had to be a mere matter of fancy, fur no one was visible. 

The beautiful Rainbow informed Fairer-th&n-a-Fairy that he 
was young, the son of a powerful king, and that the Fairy, Lagree, 
who owed his parents a grudge, had revenged herself by depriving 
him of his natural shape for some years ; that she had imprisoned 
him in the palace, whero ho had found his confinement hard to bear 



128 FAIRER- THAN-A-FAIRY 

for some time, but now, he owned, he no longer sighed for freedom 
since he had seen and learned to love Fairer-than-a-Fairy. 

He added many other tender speeches to this declaration, and the 
Princess, to whom such remarks were a new experience, could not 
help feeling pleased and touched by his attentions. 

The Prince could only appear or speak under the form of a 
Rainbow, and it was therefore necessar3 T that the sun should shine 
on water so as to enable the rays to form themselves. 

Fairer-than-a-Fairy lost no moment in which she could meet 
her lover, and they enjoyed many long and interesting interviews. 
One day, however, their conversation became so absorbing and 
time passed so quickly that the Princess forgot to attend to the fire, 
and it went out. Lagree, on her return, soon found out the neglect, 
and seemed only too pleased to have the opportunity of showing 
her spite to her lovely prisoner. She ordered Fairer-than-a-Fairy 
to start next day at dawn to ask Locrinos for fire with which to re- 
light the one she had allowed to go out. 

Now this Locrinos was a cruel monster who devoured everyone 
he came across, and especially enjoyed a chance of catching and 
eating any young girls. Our heroine obeyed with great sweetness, 
and without having been able to take leave of her lover she set off 
to go to Locrinos as to certain death. As she was crossing a wood 
a bird sang to her to pick up a shining pebble which she would find 
in a fountain close by, and to use it when needed. She took the 
bird's advice, and in due time arrived at the house of Locrinos. 
Luckily she only found his wife at home, who was much struck by 
the Princess's youth and beauty and sweet gentle manners, and 
still further impressed by the present of the shining pebble. 

She readily let Fairer-than-a-Fairy have the fire, and in return 
for the stone she gave her another, which, she said, might prove 
useful some day. Then she sent her away without doing her any 
harm. 

Lagree was as much surprised as displeased at the happy result 
of this expedition, and Fairer-than-a-Fairy waited anxiously for an 
opportunity of meeting Prince Rainbow and telling him her adven- 
tures. She found, however, that he had already been told all about 
them by a Fairy who protected him, and to whom he was related. 

The dread of fresh dangers to his beloved Princess made him 
devise some more convenient way of meeting than by the garden 
fountain, and Fairer-than-a-Fairy carried out his plan daily with 
entire success. Every morning she placed a large basin full of 



FAIRER- THAN-A-FAIRY 129 

water on her window-sill, and as soon as the sun's rays fell on the 
water the Kainbow appeared as clearly as it had ever done in the 
fountain. By this means they were able to meet without losing 
sight of the fire or of the two bottles in which the old Fairy kept 
her eye and her tooth at night, and for some time the lovers enjoyed 
every hour of sunshine together. 

One day Prince Rainbow appeared in the depths of woe. He 
had just heard that he was to be banished from this lovely spo.t, 
but he had no idea where he was to go. The poor young couple 
were in despair, and only parted with the last ray of sunshine, and 
in hopes of meeting next morning. Alas ! next day was dark and 
gloomy, and it was only late in the afternoon that the sun broke 
through the clouds for a few minutes. 

Fairer- than-a-Fairy eagerly ran to the window, but in her haste 
she npset the basin, and spilt all the water with which she had 
carefully filled it overnight. No other water was at hand except 
that in the two bottles. It was the only chance of seeing her lover 
before they were separated, and she did not hesitate to break the bottle 
and pour their contents into the basin, when the Rainbow appeared 
at once. Their farewells were full of tenderness ; the Prince made 
the most ardent and sincere protestations, and promised to neglect 
nothing which might help to deliver his dear Fairer-than-a-Fairy 
from her captivity, and implored her to consent to their marriage 
as soon as they should both be free. The Princess, on her side, 
vowed to have no other husband, and declared herself willing to 
brave death itself in order to rejoin him. 

They were not allowed much time for their adieus ; the Ttain- 
bow vanished, and the Princess, resolved to run all risks, started off 
at once, taking nothing with her but her dog, her cat, a sprig of 
myrtle, and the stone which the wife of Locrinos gave her. 

AVhen Lagree became aware of her prisoner's flight she was 
furious, and set off at full speed in pursuit. She overtook her just 
as the poor girl, overcome by fatigue, had lain down to rest in a 
cave which the stone had formed itself into to shelter her. The 
little dog who was watching her mistress promptly ilew at Lagree 
and bit her so severely that she stumbled against a corner of the 
cave and broke off her only tooth. Before she had recovered from 
the pain and rage this caused her, the Princess had time to escape, 
and was some way on her road. Fear gave her strength for some 
time, but at last she could go no furtheiyand sank down to rest. 
As she did so, the sprig of myrtle she carried touched the ground, 



130 FAIRER- THAN-A-FAIRY 

and immediately a green and shady bower sprang up round her, in 
which she hoped to sleep in peace. 

But Lagree had not given up her pursuit, and arrived just as 
Fairer-than-a-Fairy had fallen fast asleep. This time she made 




sure of catching her victim, but the cat spied her out, and, springing 
from one of the boughs of the arbour she flew at Lagree's face and 
tore out her only eye, thus delivering the Princess for ever from her 
persecutor. 



FAIBEB-THAN-A-FAIItY 131 

One might have thought that all would now be well, but no sooner 
had Lagree been put to flight than our heroine was overwhelmed 
with hunger and thirst. She felt as though she should certainly 
expire, and it was with some difficulty that she dragged herself as 
far as a pretty little green and white house, which stood at no 
great distance. Here she was received by a beautiful lady dressed 
in green and white to match the house, which apparently belonged 
to her, and of which she seemed the only inhabitant. 

She greeted the fainting Princess most kindly, gavo her an 
excellent supper, and after a long night's rest in a delightful bed 
told her that after many troubles she should finally attain her 
desire. 

As the green and white lady took leave of the Princess she gavo 
her a nut, desiring her only to open it in the most urgent need. 

After a long and tiring journey Fairer-than-a-Fairy was oneo 
more received in a house, and by a lady exactly like the on „ she 
had quitted. Here again she received a present with the same in- 
junctions, but instead of a nut this lady gave her a golden pome- 
granate. The mournful Princess had to continue her weary wa} r , 
and after many troubles and hardships she again found rest and 
shelter in a third house exactly similar to the two others. 

These houses belonged to three sisters, all endowed with fairy 
gifts, and all so alike in mind and person that they wished their 
houses and garments to be equally alike. Their occupation con- 
sisted in helping those in misfortune, and they were as gentle and 
benevolent as Lagree had been cruel and spiteful. 

The third Fairy comforted the poor traveller, begged her not to 
lose heart, and assured her that her troubles should be rewarded. 
She accompanied her advice by the gift of a crystal smelling-bottle, 
with strict orders only to open it in case of urgent need. Fairer-than- 
a-Fairy thanked her warmly, and resumed her way cheered by 
pleasant thoughts. 

After a time her road led through a wood, full of soft airs and 
sweet odours, and before she had gone a hundred yards she saw a 
wonderful silver Castle suspended by strong silver chains to four of 
the largest trees. It was so perfectly hung that a gentle breezo 
rocked it sufficiently to send you pleasantly to sleep. 

Fairer-than-a-Fairy felt a strong desire to enter this Castle, but 
besides being hung a little above the ground there seemed to bo 
neither doors nor windows. She had no doubt (though really I 
cannot think why) that the moment had come in which to uso the 



132 FAIBEB-THAN-A-FAIBY 

nut which had been given her. She opened it, and out came a 
diminutive hall porter at whose belt hung a tiny chain, at the end 
of which was a golden key half as long as the smallest pin you 
ever saw. 

The Princess climbed up one of the silver chains, holding in her 
hand the little porter who, in spite of his minute size, opened a 
secret door with his golden key and let her in. She entered a 
magnificent room which appeared to occupy the entire Castle, and 
which was lighted by gold and jewelled stars in the ceiling. In 
the midst of this room stood a couch, draped with curtains of all 
the colours of the rainbow, and suspended by golden cords so that 
it swayed with the Castle in a manner which rocked its occupant 
delightfully to sleep. 

On this elegant couch lay Prince Rainbow, looking more beautiful 
than ever, and sunk in profound slumber, in which he had been 
held ever since his disappearance. 

Fairer-than-a-Fairy, who now saw him for the first time in his 
real shape, hardly dared to gaze at him, fearing lest his appearance 
might not be in keeping with the voice and language which had 
won her heart. At the same time she could not help feeling rather 
hurt at the apparent indifference with which she was received. 

She related all the dangers and difficulties she had gone through, 
and though she repeated the story twenty times in a loud clear voice, 
the Prince slept on and took no heed. She then had recourse to 
the golden pomegranate, and on opening it found that all the seeds 
were as many little violins which flew up in the vaulted roof and 
at once began playing melodiously. 

The Prince was not completely roused, but he opened his ej'es 
a little and looked all the handsomer. 

Impatient at not being recognised, Fairer-than-a-Fairy now 
ilrew out her third present, and on opening the crystal scent-bottle 
a little syren flew out, who silenced the violins and then sang close 
to the Prince's ear the story of all his lady love had suffered in her 
search for him. She added some gentle reproaches to her tale, but 
before she had got far he was wide awake, and transported with joy 
threw himself at the Princess's feet. At the same moment the 
walls of the room expanded and opened out, revealing a golden 
throne covered with jewels. A* magnificent Court now began 
to assemble, and at the same time several elegant carriages filled 
with ladies in magnificent dresses drove up. In the first and most 
splendid of these carriages sat Princo Rainbow's mother. She 



FAIRER-THAN-A-FAIRY 133 

fondly embraced her son, after which she informed him that his 
father had been dead for some years, that the anger of the Fairies 
was at length appeased, and that he might return in peace to reign 
over his people, who were longing for his presence. 

The Court received the new King with joyful acclamations which 
would have delighted him at any other time, but all his thoughts 
were full of Fairer-than-a-Fairy. He was just about to present her 
to his mother and the Court, feeling sure that her charms would 
win all hearts, when the three green and white sisters appeared. 

They declared the secret of Fairer-than-a-Fairy 's royal birth, and 
the Queen taking the two lovers in her carriage set off with them 
for the capital of the kingdom. 

Here they were received with tumultuous joy. The wedding 
was celebrated without delay, and succeeding years diminished 
neither the virtues, beauty, nor the mutual affection of King 
Rainbow and his Queen, Fairer-than-a-Fairy. 



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134 



THE THREE BROTHERS' 



THEKE was once upon a time a witch, who in the shape of a 
hawk used every night to break the windows of a certain village 
church. In the same village there lived three brothers, who were 
all determined to kill the mischievous hawk. But in vain did the 
two eldest mount guard in the church with their guns ; as soon as 
the bird appeared high above their heads, sleep overpowered them, 
and they only awoke to hear the windows crashing in. 

Then the youngest brother took his turn of guarding the win- 
dows, and to prevent his being overcome by sleep he placed a lot of 
thorns under his chin, so that if he felt drowsy and nodded his 
head, they would prick him and keep him awake. 

The moon was already risen, and it was as light as day, when 
suddenly he heard a fearful noise, and at the same time a terrible 
desire to sleep overpowered him. 

His eyelids closed, and his head sank on his shoulders, but the 
thorns ran into him and were so painful that he awoke at once. 
He saw the hawk swooping down upon the church, and in a 
moment he had seized his gun and shot at the bird. The hawk 
fell heavily under a big stone, severely wounded in its right wing. 
The youth ran to look at it, and saw that a huge abyss had opened 
below the stone. He went at once to fetch his brothers, and with 
their help dragged a lot of pine-wood and ropes to the spot. They 
fastened some of the burning pine-wood to the end of the rope, and 
let it slowly down to the bottom of the abyss. At first it was quite 
dark, and the flaming torch only lit up dirty grey stone walls. But 
the youngest brother determined to explore the abyss, and letting 
himself down by the rope he soon reached the bottom. Here he 
found a lovely meadow full of green trees and exquisite flowers. 

In the middle of the meadow stood a huge stone castle, with an 
iron gate leading to it, which was wide open. Everything in the 
1 From the Polish. Kletke. 



THE THREE BROTHERS 185 

castle seemed to be made of copper, and the only inhabitant he 
could discover was a lovely girl, who was combing her golden hair ; 
and he noticed that whenever one of her hairs fell on the ground it 
rang out like pure metal. The youth looked at her more closely, 
and saw that her skin was smooth and fair, her blue eyes bright 
and sparkling, and her hair as golden as the sun. Ho fell in love with 
her on the spot, and kneeling at her feet, he implored her to become 
his wife. 

The lovely girl accepted his proposal gladly ; but at the same 
time she warned him that she could never come up to the world 
above till her mother, the old witch, was dead. And she went on 
to tell him that the only way in which the old creature could be 
killed was with the sword that hung up in the castle ; but the sword 
was so heavy that no one could lift it. 

Then the youth went into a room in the castle where everything 
was made of silver, and here he found another beautiful girl, the 
sister of his bride. She was combing her silver hair, and every 
hair that fell on the ground rang ont like pure metal. The second 
girl handed him the sword, but though he tried with all his strength 
he could not lift it. At last a third sister came to him and gave 
him a drop of something to drink, which she said would give him 
the needful strength. He drank one drop, but still he could not 
lift the sword ; then he drank a second, and the sword began to 
move; but only after he had drunk a third drop was he able to 
swing the sword over his head. 

Then he hid himself in the castle and awaited the old witch's 
arrival. At last as it was beginning to grow dark she appeared. 
She swooped down upon a big apple-tree, and after shaking some 
golden apples from it, she pounced down upon the earth. As soon 
as her feet touched the ground she became transformed from a 
hawk into a woman. This was the moment the youth was waiting 
for, and he swung his mighty sword in the air with all his strength 
and the witch's head fell off, and her blood spurted up on the 
walls. 

Without fear of any further danger, he packed up all the 
treasures of the castle into groat chests, and gave his brothers a 
signal to pull them up out of the abyss. First the treasures were 
attached to the rope and then the three lovely girls. And now 
everything was up above and only he himself remained below. 
But as he was a little suspicions of his brothers, ho fastened a heavy 
stone on to the ropo and let them pull it up. At first they heaved 



136 THE THBEE BBOTHEBS 

with a will, but when the stone was half way up they let it drop 
suddenly, and it fell to the bottom broken into a hundred pieces. 

* So that's what would have happened to my bones had I trusted 
myself to them,' said the youth sadly ; and he began to cry bitterly, 
not because of the treasures, but because of the lovely girl with her 
swanlike neck and golden hair. 




* Then the youth swung his mighty sword in the air, and with 
one blow cut off the serpent's head ' 

For a long time he wandered sadly all through the beautiful 
underworld, and one day he met a magician who asked him the 
cause of his tears. The youth told him all that had befallen him, 
and the magician said : 

' Do not grieve, young man ! If you will guard the children 
who are hidden in the golden apple-tree, I will bring you at once 



THE THREE BROTHERS 137 

up to the earth. Another magician who lives in this land always 
eats ray children up. It is in vain that I have hidden them under 
the earth and locked them into the castle. Now I have hidden them 
in the apple-tree; hide yourself there too, and at midnight you will 
see my enemy.' 

The youth climhed up the tree, and picked some of the beautiful 
golden apples, which he ate for his supper. 

At midnight the wind began to rise, and a rustling sound was 
heard at the foot of the tree. The youth looked down and beheld 
a long thick serpent beginning to crawl up the tree. It wound itself 
round the stem and gradually got higher and higher. It stretched 
its huge head, in which the eyes glittered fiercely, among the 
branches, searching for the nest in which the little children lay- 
They trembled with terror when they saw the hideous creature, and 
hid themselves beneath the leaves. 

Then the youth swung his mighty sword in the air, and with 
one blow cut off the serpent's head. He cut up the rest of the 
body into little bits and strewed them to the four winds. 

The father of the rescued children was so delighted over the 
death of his enemy that he told the youth to get on his back, and 
in this way he carried him up to the world above. 

With what joy did he hurry now to his brothers' house ! He 
burst into a room where they were all assembled, but no one knew 
who he was. Only his bride, who was serving as cook to her sisters, 
recognised her lover at once. 

His brothers, who had quite believed he was dead, yielded him 
up his treasures at once, and flew into the woods in terror. But 
the good youth forgave them all they had done, and divided his 
treasures with them. Then he built himself a big castle with 
golden windows, and there he lived happily with his golden-haired 
wife till the end of their lives. 



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133 



THE BOY AND TEE WOLVES, OB 
THE BROKEN PROMISE 1 



ONCE upon a time an Indian hunter built himself a house in the 
middle of a great forest, far away from all his tribe ; for his 
heart was gentle and kind, and he was weary of the treachery and 
cruel deeds of those who had been his friends. So he left them, 
and took his wife and three children, and they journeyed on until 
they found a spot near to a clear stream, where they began to cut 
down trees, and to make ready their wigwam. For many years 
they lived peacefully and happily in this sheltered place, never 
leaving it except to hunt the wild animals, which served them both 
for food and clothes. At last, however, the strong man felt sick, and 
before long he knew he must die. 

So he gathered his family round him, and said his last words to 
them. * You, my wife, the companion of my days, will follow me 
ere many moons have waned to the island of the blest. But for 
you, my children, whose lives are but newly begun, the wicked- 
ness, unkindness, and ingratitude from which I fled are before you. 
Yet I shall go hence in peace, my children, if you will promise 
always to love each other, and never to forsake yoiu" youngest 
brother.' 

1 Never ! ' they replied, holding out their hands. And the hunter 
died content. 

Scarcely eight moons had passed when, just as he had said, the 
wife went forth, and followed her husband ; but before leaving her 
children she bade the two elder ones think of their promise never 
to forsake the younger, for he was a child, and weak. And while 
the snow lay thick upon the ground, they tended him and cherished 
him ; but when the earth showed green again, the heart of the 
young man stirred within him, and lie longed to see the wigwams 
of the village where his father's youth was spent. 
> A North AmericaOMia, story. 



THE BOY AND THE WOLVES 139 

Therefore he opened all his heart to his sister, who answered : 
* My brother, I understand your longing for our fellow-mon, whom 
here wo cannot see. But remember our father's words. Shall wo 
not seek our own pleasures, and forget the little one ? ' 

But ho would not listen, and, making no reply, he took his bow 
and arrows and left the hut. The snows fell and melted, yet he 




1 My brother, my brother, I am becoming a wolf ! ' 

never returned ; and at last the heart of the girl grew cold and 
hard, and her little boy became a burden in her eyes, till one day 
she spoke thus to him : ' See, there is food for many days to come. 
Stay here within the shelter of the hut. I go to seek our brother, 
and when I have found him I shall return hither.' 

But when, after hard journeying, she reached the village whero 
her brother dwelt, and saw that ho had a wife ancl was happy, and 



140 THE BOY AND THE WOLVES 

when she, too, was sought by a young brave, then she also forgot 
the boy alone in the forest, and thought only of her husband. 

Now as soon as the little boy had eaten all the food which his 
sister had left hini, he went out into the woods, and gathered berries 
and dug up roots, and while the sun shone he was contented and 
had his fill. But when the snows began and the wind howled, then 
his stomach felt empty and his limbs cold, and he hid in trees all 
the night, and only crept out to eat what the wolves had left behind. 
And by-and-by, having no other friends, he sought their company, 
and sat by while they devoured their prey, and they grew to know 
him, and gave him food. And without them he would have died 
in the snow. 

But at last the snows melted, and the ice upon the great lake, 
and as the wolves went down to the shore, the boy went after them. 
And it happened one day that his big brother was fishing in his 
canoe near the shore, and he heard the voice of a child singing in 
the Indian tone — 

' My brother, my brother ! 
I am becoming a wolf, 
I am becoming a wolf! ' 

And when he had so sung he howled as wolves howl. Then the 
heart of the elder sunk, and he hastened towards him, crying, 
' Brother, little brother, come to me ; ' but he, being half a wolf, 
only continued his song. And the louder the elder called him, 
'Brother, little brother, come to me,' the swifter he fled after his 
brothers the wolves, and the heavier grew his skin, till, with a long 
howl, he vanished into the depths of the forest. 

So, with shame and anguish in his soul, the elder brother went 
back to his village, and, with his sister, mourned the little boy and 
the broken promise till the end of his life. 



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141 



TEE GLASS AXE 1 



THERE was once upon a time a King and Queen who had every- 
thing they could possibly wish for in this world except a child. 
At last, after twelve years, the Queen gave birth to a son ; but she 
did not live long to enjoy her happiness, for on the following day 
she died. But before her death she called her husband to her and 
said, ' Never let the child put his feet on the ground, for as soon as 
he does so he will fall into the power of a wicked Fairy, who will 
do him much harm.' And these were the last words the poor 
Queen spoke. 

The boy throve and grew big, and when he was too heavy for 
his nurse to carry, a chair was made for him on little wheels, in 
which he could wander through the palace gardens "without help ; 
at other times he was carried about on a litter, and he was always 
carefully watched and guarded for fear he should at any time put 
his feet to the ground. 

But as this sort of life was bad for his health, the doctors 
ordered him horse exercise, and he soon became a first-rate rider, 
and used to go out for long excursions on horseback, accompanied 
always by his father's stud-groom and a numerous retinue. 

Every day he rode through the neighbouring fields and woods, 
and always returned home in the evening safe and well. In this 
way many years passed, and the Prince grew to manhood, aud 
hardly anyone remembered the Queen's warning, though precau- 
tions were still taken, more from use and wont than for any other 
reason. 

One day the Prince and Ins suite went out for a ride in a wood 
where his father sometimes held a hunt. Their way led through a 
stream whose banks wero overgrown with thick brushwood. Just 
as the horsemen were about to ford the river, a hare, startled by 
the sound of the horsc-s' hoofs, started up from the grass and ran 

Y. U 



142 THE GLASS AXE 

towards the thicket. The young Prince pursued the little creature, 
and had almost overtaken it, when the girth of his saddle suddenly 
broke in two and he fell heavily to the ground. No sooner had his 
foot touched the earth than he disappeared before the eyes of the 
horrified courtiers. 

They sought for him far and near, but all in vain, and they were 
forced to recognise the power of the evil Fairy, against which the 
Queen had warned them on her death-bed. The old King was 
much grieved when they brought him the news of his son's disap- 
pearance, but as lie could do nothing to free him from his fate, he 
gave himself up to an old age of grief and loneliness, cherishing at 
the same time the hope that some lucky chance might one day 
deliver the youth out of the hands of his enemy. 

Hardly had the Prince touched the ground than he felt himself 
violently seized by an unseen power, and hurried away he knew 
not whither. A whole new world stretched out before him, quite 
unlike the one he had left. A splendid castle surrounded by a 
huge lake was the abode of the Fairy, and the only approach to it 
was over a bridge of clouds. On the other side of the lake high 
mountains rose up, and dark woods stretched along the banks ; 
over all hung a thick mist, and deep silence reigned everywhere. 

No sooner had the Fairy reached her own domain than she 
made herself visible, and turning to the Prince she told him that 
unless he obeyed all her commands down to the minutest detail he 
would be severely punished. Then she gave him an axe made of 
glass, and bade him cross the bridge of clouds and go into the wood 
beyond and cut down all the trees there before sunset. At the 
same time she cautioned him with many angry words against 
speaking to a black girl he would most likely meet in the wood. 

The Prince listened to her words meekly, and when she had 
finished took up the glass axe and set out for the forest. At every 
step he seemed to sink into the clouds, but fear gave wings to his 
feet, and he crossed the lake in safety and set to work at once. 

But no sooner had he struck the first blow with his axe than it 
broke into a thousand pieces against the tree. The poor youth was 
so terrified he did not know what to do, for he was in mortal dread 
of the punishment the wicked old Fairy would inflict on him. He 
wandered to and fro in the wood, not knowing where he was going, 
and at last, worn out by fatigue and misery, he sank on the ground 
and fell fast asleep. 

He did not know how long he had slept when a sudden sound 



TEE GLASS AXE 143 

awoke him, and opening his eyes he saw a black girl standing 
beside him. Mindful of the Fairy's warning he did not dare to 
address her, but she on her part greeted him in the most friendly 
manner, and asked him at once if he were under the power of the 
wicked Fairy. The Prince nodded his head silently in answer. 

Then the black girl told him that she too was in the power of 
the Fairy, who had doomed her to wander about in her present 
guise until some youth should take pity on her and bear her in 
safety to the other side of the river which they saw in the distance, 
and on the other side of which the Fairy's domaiu and power 
ended. 

The girl's words so inspired the Prince with confidence that he 
told her all his tale of woe, and ended up by asking her advice as 
to how he was to escape the punishment the Fairy would be sure 
to inflict on him when she discovered that he had not cut down 
the trees in the wood and that he had broken her axe. 

* You must know,' answered the black girl, ' that the Fairy in 
whose power we both are is my own mother, but you must not 
betray this secret, for it would cost me my life. If you will only 
promise to try and free mo I will stand by yon. and will accomplish 
for you all the tasks which my mother sets you.' 

The Prince promised joyfully all she asked ; then having once 
more warned him not to betray her confidence, she handed him a 
draught to drink which very soon sunk his senses in a deep 
slumber. 

His astonishment was great when he awok9 to find the glass 
axe whole and unbroken at his side, and all the trees of the wood 
lying felled around him ! 

Ho made all haste across the bridge of clouds, and told the 
Fairy that her commands were obeyed. She was much amazed 
when she heard that all the wood was cut down, and saw the axe 
unbroken in his hand, and since she could not believe that he had 
done all this by himself, she questioned him narrowly if ho had 
seen or spoken to the black girl. But the Prince lied manfully, 
and swore ho had never looked up from his work for a moment. 
Seeing she could get nothing moro out of him, she gavo him a little 
bread and water, and phowing him to a small dark cupboard she 
told him he might sleep there. 

Morning had hardly dawned when the Fairy awoke the Prince, 
and giving him the glass axe again she told him to cut up all the 
wood lie had fulled tbo day before, and to put it in bundles ready 

m 2 



144 THE GLASS AXE 

for firewood ; at the same time she warned him once more against 
approaching or speaking a word to the black girl if he met her in 
the wood. 

Although his task was no easier than that of the day before, 
the youth set out much more cheerfully, becaiise he knew he could 
count on the help of the black girl. With quicker and lighter step 
he crossed the bridge of clouds, and hardly had he reached the 
other side than his friend stood before him and greeted him cheer- 
fully. When she heard what the Fairy demanded this time, she 
answered smilingly, ' Never fear,' and handed him another draught, 
which very soon caused the Prince to sink into a deep sleep. 

When he awoke everything was done. All the trees of the 
wood were cut up into firewood and arranged in bundles ready for 
use. 

He returned to the castle as quickly as he could, and told the 
Fairy that her commands were obeyed. She was even more 
amazed than she had been before, and asked him again if he had 
either seen or spoken to the black girl ; but the Frince knew 
better than to betray his word, and once more lied freely. 

On the following day the Fairy set him a third task to do, even 
harder than the other two. She told him he must build a castle 
on the other side of the lake, made of nothing but gold, silver, and 
precious stones, and unless he could accomplish this within an 
hour, the most frightful doom awaited him. 

The Prince heard her words without anxiety, so entirely did he 
rely on the help of his black friend. Full of hope he hurried across 
the bridge, and recognised at once the spot where the castle was to 
stand, for spades, hammers, axes, and every other building imple- 
ment lay scattered on the ground ready for the workman's hand, 
but of gold, silver, and precious stones there was not a sign. But 
before the Frince had time to feel despondent the black girl 
beckoned to him in the distance from behind a rock, where she had 
hidden herself for fear her mother should catch sight of her. Full 
of joy the youth hurried towards her, and begged her aid and 
counsel in the new piece of work he had been given to do. 

But this time the Fairy had watched the Prince's movements 
from her window, and she saw him hiding himself behind the rock 
with her daughter. She uttered a piercing shriek so that the moun- 
tains re-echoed with the sound of it, and the terrified pair had 
hardly dared to look out from their hiding-place when the enraged 
woman, with her dress and hair flying in the wind, hurried over the 




THE HLACK QtllL STOW 'THE X\TVi 4 U *Vl Til 4 WT 0*? TNE ROCK 



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THE GLASS AXE 14$ 

bridge of clouds. The Prince at once gave himself up for lost, 
but the girl told him to be of good courage and to follow her as 
quickly as he could. But before they left their shelter she broke 
off a little bit of the rock, spoke some magic words over it, and 
threw it in the direction her mother was coming from. In a 
moment a glittering palace arose before the eyes of the Fairy 
which blinded her with its dazzling splendour, and with its many 
doors and passages prevented her for some time from finding her 
way out of it. 

In the meantime the black girl hurried on with the Prince, 
hastening to reach the river, where once on the other side they 
would for ever be out of the wicked Fairy's power. But before 
they had accomplished half the way they heard again the rustic of 
her garments and her muttered curses pursuing them closely. 

The Prince was terrified ; he dared not look back, and he felt 
his strength giving way. But before he had time to despair the 
girl uttered some more magic words, and immediately she herself 
was changed into a pond, and the Prince into a duck swimming on 
its surface. 

When the Fairy saw this her rage knew no bounds, and she 
used all her magic wits to make the pond disappear ; she caused a 
hill of sand to arise at her feet, meaning it to dry up the water at 
once. But the sand hill only drove the pond a little farther away, 
and its waters seemed to increase instead of diminishing. "When the 
old woman saw that the powers of her magic were of so little 
avail, she had recourse to cunning. She threw a lot of gold nuts 
into the pond, hoping in this way to catch the duck, but all her 
efforts were fruitless, for the little creature refused to let itself be 
caught. 

Then a new idea struck the wicked old woman, and hiding her- 
self behind the rock which had sheltered the fugitives, she waited 
behind it, watching carefully for the moment when the Prince and 
her daughter should resume their natural forms and continue their 
journey. 

She had not to wait long, for as soon as the girl thought her 
mother was safely out of the way, sho changed herself and the 
Prince once more into their human shape, and set out cheerfully 
for the river. 

But they had not gono many steps when the wicked Fairy 
hurried after them, a drawn dagger in her hand, and was close 
upon them, when suddenly, instead of the Prince and her daughter, 



146 THE GLASS AXE 

she found herself in front of a great stone church, whose entrance 
was carefully guarded by a huge monk. 

Breathless with rage and passion, she tried to plunge her dagger 
into the monk's heart, but it fell shattered in pieces at her feet. 
In her desperation she determined to pull down the church, and 
thus to destroy her two victims for ever. She stamped three times 
on the ground, and the earth trembled, and both the church and 
the monk began to shake. As soon as the Fairy saw this she 
retreated to some distance from the building, so as not to be hurt 
herself by its fall. But once more her scheme was doomed to 
failure, for hardly had she gone a yard from the church than both 
it and the monk disappeared, and she found herself in a wood 
black as night, and full of wolves and bears and wild animals of all 
sorts and descriptions. 

Then her wrath gave place to terror, for she feared every 
moment to be torn in pieces by the beasts who one and all seemed 
to defy her power. She thought it wisest to make her way as 
best she could out of the forest, and then to pursue the fugitives 
once more and accomplish their destruction either by force or 
cunning. 

In the meantime the Prince and the black girl had again 
assumed their natural forms, and were hurrying on as fast as they 
could to reach the river. But when they got there they found that 
there was no way in which they could cross it, and the girl's magic 
art seemed no longer to have any power. Then turning to the 
Prince she said, ' The hour for my deliverance has not yet come, 
but as you promised to do all you could to free me, you must do 
exactly as I bid you now. Take this bow and arrow and kill every 
beast you see with them, and be sure you spare no living creature.' 

With these words she disappeared, and hardly had she done so 
than a huge wild boar started out of the thicket near and made 
straight for the Prince. But the youth did not lose his presence of 
mind, and drawing his bow he pierced the beast with his arrow 
right through the skull. The creature fell heavily on the ground, 
and out of its side sprang a little hare, which ran like the wind 
along the river bank. The Prince drew his bow once more, and 
the hare lay dead at his feet ; but at the same moment a dove rose 
up in the air, and circled round the Prince's head in the most con- 
fiding manner. But mindful of the black girl's commands, he 
dared not spare the little creature's life, and taking another arrow 
from his quiver he laid it as dead as the boar and the hare. But 



THE GLASS AXE 



147 



when he went to look at the body of the bird he found instead of 
the dove a round white egg lying on the ground. 

While he was gazing on it and wondering what it could mean, 
he heard the sweeping of wings above him, and looking up he saw 
a huge vulture with open claws swooping down upon him. In a 
moment he seized the egg and flung it at the bird with all his might, 
and lo and behold ! instead of the ugly monster the most beautiful 
girl he had ever seen stood before the astonished eyes of the Prince. 




*But the waters seized her chariot and sunk it in the lowest depths ' 



But while all this was going on the wicked old Fairy had 
managed to make her way out of tho wood, and was now using tho 
last resource in her power to overtake her daughter and the Prince. 
As soon as she was in tho open again she mounted her chariot, 
which was drawn by a fiery dragon, and flew through tho air in it. 
But just as she got to the river sho saw the two lovers in each 
other's arms swimming through tho water as easily as two fishes 

Quick as lightniu& and forgetful of every danger, she flew down 
upon them. But the waters seized her chariot and sunk it in tho 



148 THE GLASS AXE 

lowest depths, and the waves bore the wicked old woman down the 
stream till she was caught in some thorn bushes, where she made 
a good meal for all the little fishes that were swimming about. 

And so at last the Prince and his lovely Bride were free. They 
hurried as quickly as they could to the old King, who received 
them with joy and gladness. On the following day a most gorgeous 
wedding feast was held, and as far as we know the Prince and 
his B ride lived happily for ever afterwards. 



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149 



THE DEAD WIFE 3 



ONCE upon a time there were a man and his wife who lived in the 
forest, very far from the rest of the trihe. Very often they 
spent the day in hunting together, but after a while the wife found 
that she had so many things to do that she was obliged to stay at 
home; so he went alone, though he found that when his wife was 
not with him lie never had any luck. One day, when he was away 
hunting, the woman fell ill, and in a few days she died. Her 
husband grieved bitterly, and buried her in the house where she 
had passed her life ; but as the time went on he felt so lonely with- 
out her that he made a wooden doll about her height and size for 
company, and dressed it in her clothes. He seated it in front of 
the fire, and tried to think he had his wife back again. The next 
day he went out to hunt, and when ho came home the first thing 
ho did was to go up to the doll and brush off some of the ashes 
from the fire which had fallen on its face. But he was very busy 
now, for he had to cook and mend, besides getting food, for there 
was no one to help him. And so a whole year passed away. 

At the end of that time he came back from hunting one night 
and found some wood by the door and a fire within. The next 
night there was not only wood and fire, but a piece of meat in the 
kettle, nearly ready for eating. He searched all about to see who 
could have done this, but could find no one. The next time he 
went to hunt he took care not to go far, and camo in quite early. 
And while he was still a long way off he saw a woman going into 
the house with wood on her shoulders. So he made haste, and 
opened the door quickly, and instead of the wooden doll, his wife sat 
in front of the fire. ' 

Then she spoko to him and said, ' The Great Spirit felt sorry 
for you, because you would not be comforted, so he let me come 
back to yon, but you must not stretch out your hand to touch me 
till we have seen the rest of our people. If you do, I shall die. 1 



150 



THE DEAD WIFE 



So the man listened to her words, and the woman dwelt there, 
and brought the wood and kindled the fire, till one day her husband 
said to her, * It is now two years since you died. Let us now go 
back to our tribe. Then you will be well, and I can touch you,' 




And with that he prepared food for the journey, a string of 
deer's flesh for her to carry, and one for himself; and so they 
started. Now the camp of the tribe was distant six days' 
journey, and when they were yet one day's journey off it be- 
gan to suow, and they felt weary and longed for rest. Therefore 



THE DEAD WIFE 151 

they made a fire, cooked some food, and spread out their skins to 
sleep. 

Then the heart of the man was greatly stirred, and he stretched 
out his arms to his wife, but she waved her hands and said, 'We 
have seen no one yet ; it is too soon.' 

But he would not listen to her, and caught her to him, and be- 
hold ! he was clasping the wooden doll. And when he saw it was 
the doll he pushed it from him in his misery and rushed away to 
the camp, and told them all his story. And some doubted, and 
they went back with him to the place where he and his wife had 
stopped to rest, and there lay the doll, and besides, they saw in the 
snow the steps of two people, and the foot of one was like the foot 
of the doll. And the man grieved sore all the days of his life. 



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152 



IN THE LAND OF SOULS' 



FAK away, in North America, where the Red Indians dwell, 
there lived a long time ago a beautiful maiden, who was 
lovelier than any other girl in the whole tribe. Many of the young 
braves sought her in marriage, but she would listen to* one only — 
a handsome chief, who had taken her fancy some years before. 
So they were to be married, and great rejoicings were made, and 
the two looked forward to a long life of happiness together, when 
the very night before the wedding feast a sudden illness seized the 
girl, and, without a word to her friends who were weeping round 
her, she passed silently away. 

The heart of her lover had been set upon her, and the thought 
of her remained with him night and day. He put aside his bow, 
and went neither to fight nor to hunt, but from sunrise to sunset he 
sat by the place where she was laid, thinking of his happiness that 
was buried there. At last, after many days, a light seemed to 
come to him out of the darkness. He remembered having heard 
from the old, old people of the tribe, that there was a path that 
led to the Land of Souls— that if you sought carefully you could 
find it. 

So the next morning he got up early, and piit some food in his 
pouch and slung an extra skin over his shoulders, for he knew not 
how long his journey would take, nor what sort of country he 
would have to go through. Only one thing he knew, that if the 
path was there, he would find it. At first he was puzzled, as there 
seemed no reason he should go in one direction more than another. 
Then all at once he thought he had heard one of the old men say 
that the Land of Souls lay to the south, and so, filled with new 
hope and courage, he set his face southwards. For many, many 
miles the country looked the same as it did round his own home. 
The forests, the hills, and the rivers all seemed exactly like the ones 
1 From the 1 Red Indian. 



IN THE LAND OF SOULS 153 

he had left. The only thing that was different was the snow, which 
had lain thick upon the hills and trees when he started, but grew 
less and less the farther he went south, till it disappeared altogether. 
Soon the trees put forth their buds, and flowers sprang up under 
his feet, and instead of thick clouds there was blue sky over his 
head, and everywhere the birds were singing. Then he knew that 
he was in the right road. 

The thought that he should soon behold his lost bride made 
his heart beat for joy, and he sped along lightly and swiftly. Now 
his way led through a dark wood, and then over some steep cliffs, 
and on the tup of these he found a hut or wigwam. An old man 
clothed in skins, and holding a staff in his hand, stood in the door- 
way ; and he said to the young chief who was beginning to tell his 
story, ' I was waiting for you, wherefore you have come I know. 
It is but a short while since she whom you seek was here. Rest in 
my hut, as she also rested, and I will tell, you what you ask, and 
whither you should go.' 

On hearing these words, the young man entered the hut, but his 
heart was too eager within him to suffer him to rest, and when he 
arose, the old man rose too, and stood with him at the door. * Look,' 
he said, 'at the water which lies far out yonder, and the plains which 
stretch beyond. That is the Land of Souls, but no man enters it 
without leaving his body behind him. So, lay down your body 
here ; your bow and arrows, your skin and yotir dog. Thoy shall 
be kept for you safely.' 

Then he turned away, and the young chief, light as air, seemed 
hardly to touch the ground ; and as he flew along the scents grew 
sweeter and the flowers more beautiful, whilo the animals rubbed 
their noses against him, instead of hiding as he approached, and 
birds circled round him, and fishes lifted up their heads and looked 
as he went by. Very soon ho noticed with wonder, that neither 
rocks nor trees barred his path. Ho passed through them without 
knowing it, for indeed, they were not rocks and trees at all, but only 
the souls of them ; for this was the Land of Shadows. 

So he went on with winged feet till ho came to the shores of a 
great lake, with a lovely island in the middle of it ; while on tho 
bank of the lake was a canoe of glittering stone, and in tho canoo 
were two shining paddles. 

The chief jumped straight into tho canoe, and seizing the paddles 
pushed off from the shore, when to his joy and wonder he saw 
following him in another canoe exactly like Ins own tho maiden 



154 IN THE LAND OF SOULS 

for whose sake he had made this long journey. But they could not 
touch each other, for between them rolled great waves, which looked 
as if they would sink the boats, yet never did. And the young man 
and the maiden shrank with fear, for down in the depths of the 
water they saw the bones of those who had died before, and in the 
waves themselves men and women were struggling, and but few 
passed over. Only the children had no fear, and reached the other 
side in safety. Still, though the chief and the young giri quailed in 
terror at these horrible sights and sounds, no harm came to them, 
for their lives had been free from evil, and the Master of Life had 
said that no evil should happen nnto them. So they reached unhurt 
the shore of the Happy Island, and wandered through the flowery 
fields and by the banks of rushing streams, and they knew not 
hunger nor thirst ; neither cold nor heat. The air fed them and 
the sim warmed them, and they forgot the dead, for they saw no 
graves, and the young man's thoughts turned not to wars, neither 
to the hunting of animals. And gladly woiild these two have walked 
thus for ever, but in the murmur of the wind he heard the Master 
of Life saying to him, 'Return whither you came, for I have work 
for you to do, and your people need you, and for many years yon 
shall rule over them. At the gate my messenger awaits you, and 
yon shall take again your body which yon left behind, and he will 
show you what you are to do. Listen to him, and have patience, 
and in time to come you shall rejoin her whom you must now leave, 
for she is accepted, and will remain ever young and beautiful, as 
when I called her hence from the Land of Snows.' 



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155 



THE WHITE DUCK 



ONCE upon a time a great and powerful King married a lovely 
Princess. No couple were ever so happy ; but before their 
honeymoon was over they were forced to part, for the King had to 
go on a warlike expedition to a far country, and leave his young 
wife alone at home. Bitter were the tears she shed, while her 
husband sought in vain to soothe her with words of comfort and 
counsel, warning her, above all things, never to leave the castle, to 
hold no intercourse with strangers, to beware of evil counsellors, 
and especially to be on her guard against strange women. And the 
Queen promised faithfully to obey her royal lord and master in 
these four matters. 

So when the King set out on his expedition she shut herself up 
with her ladies in her own apartments, and spent her time in 
spinning and weaving, and in thinking of her royal husband. Often 
she w T as very sad and lonely, and it happened that one day while 
she was seated at the window, letting salt tears drop on her work, 
an old woman, a kind, homely-looking old body, stepped up to the 
window, and, leaning upon her crutch, addressed the Queen in 
friendly, flattering tones, saying : 

' Why are you sad and cast down, fair Queen ? Yon should not 
mope all day in 3 T our rooms, but should come out into the green 
garden, and hear the birds sing with joy among the trees, and seo 
the butterflies fluttering above the flowers, and hear the bees and 
insects hum, and watch the sunbeams chaso the dew-drops through 
the rose-leaves and in the lily-cups. All the brightness outside 
would help to drive away your cares, Queen.' 

For long the Queen resisted her coaxing words, remembering 
the promise she had given the King, her husband ; but at last she 
thought to herself: After all, what harm would it do if I weroto go 
into the garden for a^hort time and ejijoy myself among tho trees 
and flowers, and the singing hirdi and flutter! rig butterflies and 

y. N 



156 



THE WHITE DUCK 



bumming insects, and look at the dew-drops hiding from the sun- 
beams in the hearts of the roses and lilies, and wander about in the 




The witch persuades the Queen to bathe 

sunshine instead of. remaining all day in this room ? For she had 
no idea that the kind-looking old woman leaning on her crutch was 



THE WHITE DUCK 157 

in reality a wicked witch, who envied the Queen her good fortune, 
and was determined to ruin her. And so, in all ignorance, the Queen 
followed her out into the garden and listened to her smooth, 
Hattering words. Now, in the middle of the garden there was a 
pond of water, clear as crystal, and the old woman said to the 
Queen : 

' The day is so warm, and the sun's rays so scorching, that the 
water in the pond looks very cool and inviting. Would you not 
like to bathe in it, fair Queen ? ' 

' No, I think not,' answered the Queen ; but the next moment she 
regretted her words, and thought to herself: Why shouldn't I 
bathe in that cool, fresh water ? No harm could come of it. And, 
so saying, she slipped off her robes and stepped into the water. But 
scarcely had her tender feet touched the cool ripples when she felt 
a great shove on her shoulders, and the wicked witch had pushed 
her into the deep water, exclaiming : 

' Swim henceforth, White Duck ! ' 

And the witch herself assumed the form of the Queen, and 
decked herself out in the royal robes, and sat among the Court 
ladies, awaiting the King's return. And suddenly the tramp of 
horses' hoofs was heard, and the barking of dogs, and the witch 
hastened forward to meet the royal carriages, and, throwing her 
arms round the King's neck, kissed him. And in his great joy the 
King did not know that the woman he held in his arms was not 
his own dear wife, but a wicked witch. 

In the meantime, outside the palace walls, the poor White Duck 
swam up and down the pond ; and near it laid three eggs, out of which 
there came one morning two littlo Huffy ducklings and a little ugly 
drake. And the White Duck brought the little creatures up, and 
t)hey paddled after her in the pond, and caught gold-fish, and 
hopped upon the bank and waddled about, ruffling their feathers 
and saying ' Quack, quack ' as they strutted about on the green 
banks of the pond. But their mother used to warn them not to 
stray too far, telling them that a wicked witch lived in the castlo 
beyond the garden, adding, ' She has ruined me, and she will do 
her best to ruin you.' But the young ones did not listen to their 
mother, and, playing about the garden one day, they strayed close up 
to the castle windows. The witch at once recognised them by their 
Bmell, and ground her teeth with anger ; but she hid her feelings, 
and, pretending to be very kind, she called thp.ni to her and joked with 
them, and led them into a beautiful r06m, \vhero she gave them 

x 2 



158 THE WHITE DUCK 

food to eat, and showed them a soft cushion on which they might 
sleep. Then she left them and went down into the palace kitchens, 
where she told the servants to sharpen the knives, and to make a 
great fire ready, and hang a large kettleful of water over it. 

In the meantime the two little ducklings had fallen asleep, and 
the little drake lay between them, covered np by their wings, to be 
kept warm under their feathers. But the little drake could not go 
to sleep, and as he lay there wide awake in the night he heard the 
witch come to the door and say : 
' Little ones, are you asleep ? ' 
And the little drake answered for the other two : 
* We cannot sleep, we wake and weep, 
Sharp is the knife, to take our life ; 
The fire is hot, now boils the pot, 
And so we wake, and lie and quake.' 

'They are not asleep yet,' muttered the witch to herself; and 
she walked up and down in the passage, and then came back to the 
door, and said : 

' Little ones, are you asleep ? ' 
And again the little drake answered for his sisters : 
' We cannot sleep, we wake and weep, 
Sharp is the knife, to take our life ; 
The fire is hot, now boils the pot, 
And so we wake, and lie and quake. 

4 Jnst the same answer,' muttered the witch ; ' I think I'll go in 
and see.' So she opened the door gently, and seeing the two little 
ducklings sound asleep, she there and then killed them. 

The next morning the White Duck wandered round the pond 
in a distracted manner, looking for her little ones ; she called and 
she searched, but could find no trace of them. And in her heart 
she had a foreboding that evil had befallen them, and she fluttered 
up out of the water and flew to the palace. And there, laid out 
on the marble floor of the court, dead and stone cold, were her 
three children. The White Duck threw herself upon them, and, 
covering up their little bodies with her wings, she cried : 
' Quack, quack — my little loves ! 
Quack, quack — my turtle- doves ! 
I brought you up with grief and pain, 
And now before my eyes you're slain. 



THE WHITE DUCK 



159 



I gave you always of the best ; 
I kept } r ou warm in my soft nest. 
I loved and watched yon day and night- 
Yon were my joy, my one delight.* 




The King catches the White Duck 



The King heard the sad complaint of the White Duck, and 
called to the witch : ' Wife, what a wonder is this ? Listen to that 
White Duck.' 



160 THE WHITE DUCK 

But the witch answered, ' My clear husband, what do you 
mean ? There is nothing wonderful in a duck's quacking. Here, 
servants ! Chase that duck out of the courtyard.' But though the 
servants chased and chevied, they could not get rid of the duck ; 
for she circled round and round, and always came back to the spot 
where her children lay, crying ; 

' Quack, quack — my little loves ! 
Quack, quack — my turtle-doves ! 
The wicked witch your lives did take — 
The wicked witch, the cunning snake. 
First she stole my King away, 
Then my children did she slay. 
Changed me, from a happy wife, 
To a duck for all my life. 
Would I were the Queen again ; 
AVould that you had ne'er been slain.' 

And as the King heard her words he began to suspect that he 
had been deceived, and he called out to the servants, ' Catch that 
duck, and bring it here.' But, though they ran to and fro, the duck 
always fled past them, and would not let herself be caught. So 
the King himself stepped down amongst them, and instantly the 
duck fluttered down into his hands. And as he stroked her wings 
she was changed into a beautiful woman, and he recognised his 
dear wife. And she told him that a bottle would be found in her 
nest in the garden, containing some drops from the spring of 
healing. And it was brought to her ; and the ducklings and little 
drake were sprinkled with the water, and from the little dead 
bodies three lovely children arose. And the King and Queen were 
overjoyed when they saw thoir children, and they all lived happily 
together in the beautiful palace. But the wicked witch was taken 
by the King's command, and she came to no good end* 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



161 



THE WITCH AND HER SERVANTS' 



ALONG time ago there lived a King who had three sons ; the 
eldest was called Szabo, the second Warza, and the youngest 
Iwanich. 

One beautiful spring morning the King was walking through his 
gardens with these three sons, gazing with admiration at the various 
fruit-trees, some of which were a mass of blossom, whilst others 
were bowed to the ground laden with rich fruit. During their 
wanderings they came unperceived on a piece of waste land where 
three splendid trees grew. The King looked on them for a moment, 
and then, shaking his head sadly, he passed on in silence. 

The sons, who could not understand why he did this, asked him 
the reason of his dejection, and the King told them as follows : 

'These three trees, which I cannot see without sorrow, were 
planted by me on this spot when I was a yoiith of twenty. A 
celebrated magician, who had given the seed to my father, promised 
him that they would grow into the three finest trees the world had 
ever seen. My father did not live to see his words come true ; but 
on his death-bed he bade me transplant them hero, and to look after 
them with the greatest care, which I accordingly did. At last, after 
the lapse of five long years, I noticed some blossoms on the branches, 
and a few days later the most exmiisite fruit my eyes had ever 
seen. 

4 1 gave my head-gardener the strictest orders to watch the trees 
carefully, for tho magician had warned my father that if one unripe 
fruit were plucked from the tree, all the rest would become rotten 
at once. AVhen it was quito ripe the fruit would become a golden 
yellow. 

* Every day I gazed on the lovely fruit, which became gradually 
more and more tempting-looking, and it was all J could do not 
to break the magician's commands. 



162 THE WITCH AND HER SERVANTS 

* One night I dreamt that the fruit was perfectly ripe ; I ate 
some of it, and it was more delicious than anything I had ever 
tasted hi real life. As soon as I awoke I sent for the gardener and 
asked him if the fruit on the three trees had not ripened in the 
night to perfection. 

* But instead of replying, the gardener threw himself at my feet 
and swore that he was innocent. He said that he had watched by 
the trees all night, but in spite of it, and as if by magic, the beautiful 
trees had been robbed of all their fruit. 

' Grieved as I was over the theft, I did not punish the gardener, 
of whose fidelity I was well assured, but I determined to pluck off 
all the fruit in the following year before it was ripe, as I had not 
much belief hi the magician's warning. 

* I carried out my intention, and had all the fruit picked off the 
tree, but when I tasted one of the apples it was bitter and un- 
pleasant, and the next morning the rest of the fruit had all rotted 
^way. 

'After this I had the beautiful fruit of these trees carefully 
guarded by rny most faithful servants ; but every year, on this very 
night, the fruit was plucked and stolen by an invisible hand, and 
next morning not a single apple remained on the trees. For some 
time past I have given up even having the trees watched.' 

"When the King had finished his story, Szabo, his eldest son, 
said to him : ' Forgive me, father, if I say I think you are mistaken. 
I am sure there are many men in your kingdom who could protect 
these trees from the cunning arts of a thieving magician ; I myself, 
who as your eldest son claim the first right to do so, will mount 
guard over the fruit this very night.' 

The King consented, and as soon as evening drew on Szabo 
climbed up on to one of the trees, determined to protect the fruit 
even if it cost him his life. So he kept watch half the night; but 
a little after midnight he was overcome by an irresistible drowsi- 
ness, and fell fast asleep. He did not awake till it was bright day- 
light, and all the fruit on the trees had vanished. 

The following year "Warza, the second brother, tried his luck, 
but with the same result. Then it came to the turn of the third 
and youngest son. 

Iwanich was not the least discouraged by the failure of his 
elder brothers, though they were both much older and stronger than 
he was, and when night came climbed up the tree as they had 
done. The moon had risen, and with her soft light lit up the whole 



THE WITCH AND HER SERVANTS 



163 



neighbourhood, so that the observant Prince could distinguish the 
smallest object distinctly. 




At midnight a gentle west wind shook the tree, and at the same 
moment a snow-white swan-like bird sank down gently on his 
breast. The Prince hastily spi7ed the bird's wings in his hands, 



164 



THE WITCH AND HEB SEBVANTS 



when, lo? to bis astonishment he found he was holding in his 
arms not a bird but the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. 

' You need not fear Militza,' said the beautiful girl, looking at 
the Prince with friendly eyes. * An evil magician has not robbed you 
of your fruit, but he stole the seed from my mother, and thereby 
caused her death. When she was dying she bade me take the 
fruit, which you have no right to possess, from the trees every year 
as scon as it was ripe. This I would have done to-night too, il 




vj^^ Bffiaa^ i m^^ 



you had not seized me with such force, and so broken the spell I 
was under.* 

Iwanich, who had been prepared to meet a terrible magician 
and not a lovely girl, fell desperately in love with her. They spent 
the rest of the night in pleasant conversation, and when Militza 
wished to go away he begged her not to leave him. 

' 1 would gladly stay with you longer,' said Militza, * but a 
wicked witch once cut off a lock of my hair when I was asleep; 
which has put me in her power, and if morning were still to find 
me here she would do me some harm, and you, too, perhaps.* 

Having said these words, she drew a sparkling diamond ring 



THE WITCH AND HER SERVANTS 165 

from her finger, which she handed to the Prince, saying : ' Keep 
this ring in memory of Militza, and think of her sometimes if you 
never see her again. But if your love is really true, come and find 
me in my own kingdom. I may not show you the way there, but 
this ring will guide you. 

* If you have love and courage enough to undertake this journey, 
whenever you come to a cross-road always look at this diamond 
before you settle which way you are going to take. If it sparkles 
as brightly as ever go straight on, but if its lustre is dimmed 
choose another path.' 

Then Militza bent over the Prince and kiseed him on his fore- 
head, and before he had time to say a word she vanished through 
the branches of the tree in a little white cloud. 

Morning broke, and the Prince, still full of the wonderful appa- 
rition, left his perch and returned to the palace like one in a dream, 
without even knowing if the fruit had been taken or not; for his 
whole mind was absorbed by thoughts of Militza and how he was 
to find her. 

As soon as the head-gardener saw the Prince going towards the 
palace he ran to the trees, and when he saw them laden with ripe 
fruit he hastened to tell the King the joyful news. The King was 
beside himself for joy, and hurried at once to the garden and made 
the gardener pick him some of the fruit. He tasted it, and found 
the apple quite as luscious as it had been in his dream. He went at 
once to his son Iwanich, and after embracing him tenderly and 
heaping praises on him, he asked him how he had succeeded in 
protecting the costly fruit from the power of the magician. 

This question placed Iwanich in a dilemma. But as he did not 
want the real story to be known, he said that about midnight a huge 
wasp had flown through the branches, and buzzed incessantly round 
him. He had warded it off with his sword, and at dawn, when he 
was becoming quite worn out, the wasp had vanished as suddenly 
as it had appeared. 

The King, who never doubted the truth of this tale, bade his 
son go to rest at once and recover from the fatigues of the night ; 
but he himself went and ordered mauy feasts to bo held in honour 
of the preservation of the wonderful fruit. 

The whole capital was in a stir, and eveiyone shared in the 
King's joy ; the Prince alone took no part in the festivities. 

"While the lung was at a banquet. Iwanich took some purses 
of gold, and mounting the •quickest horse in the royal stable, 



166 THE WITCH AND HEE SERVANTS 

be sped off like the wind without a single soul being any the 
wiser. 

It was only on the next day that they missed him ; the King 
was very distressed at his disappearance, and sent search-parties all 
over the kingdom to look for him, but in vain ; and after six 
months they gave him up as dead, and in another six months they 
had forgotten all about him. But in the meantime the Prince, 
with the help of his ring, had had a most successful journey, and 
no evil had befallen him. 

At the end of three months he came to the entrance of a huge 
forest, which looked as if it had never been trodden by human foot 
before, and which seemed to stretch out indefinitely. The Prince 
was about to enter the wood by a little path he had discovered, 
when he heard a voice shouting to him : ' Hold, youth ! Whither 
are you going ? ' 

Iwanich turned round, and saw a tall, gaunt-looking man, clad 
in miserable rags, leaning on a crooked staff and seated at the foot 
of an oak tree, which was so much the same colour as himself that 
it was little wonder the Prince had ridden past the tree without 
noticing him. 

* Where else should I be going,' he said, ' than through the 
wood ? ' 

* Through the wood ? ' said the old man in amazement. 'It's 
easily seen that you have heard nothing of this forest, that you 
rush so blindly to meet your doom. Well, listen to me before you 
ride any further ; let me tell you that this wood hides in its depths 
a countless number of the fiercest tigers, hyenas, wolves, bears, and 
snakes, and all sorts of other monsters. If I were to cut you and 
your horse up into tiny morsels and throw them to the beasts, there 
wouldn't be one bit for each hundred of them. Take my advice, 
therefore, and if you wish to save your life follow some other 
path.' 

The Prince was rather taken aback by the old man's words, and 
considered for a minute what he should do ; then looking at his 
ring, and perceiving that it sparkled as brightly as ever, he called 
out : ' If this wood held even more terrible things than it does, I 
cannot help myself, for I must go through it.' 

Here he spurred his horse and rode on; but the old beggar 
screamed so loudly after him that the Prince turned round and 
rode back to the oak tree. 

'I am really sorry for you,' said the beggar, * but if you are 
quite determined to brave the dangers of the forest, let me at least 



THE WITCH AND HER SERVANTS 1G7 

give you a piece of advice which will help you against these 
monsters. 

' Take this bagful of bread-crumbs and this live hare. I will 
make you a present of them both, as I am anxious to save your 
life ; but you must leave your horse behind you, for it would 
stumble over the fallen trees or get entangled in the briers and thorns. 
When you have gone about a hundred yards into the wood the 
wild beasts will surround you. Then you must instantly seize your 
bag, and scatter the bread-crumbs among them. They will rush to 
eat them up greedily, and when you have scattered the last crumb 
you must lose no time in throwing the hare to them ; as soon as 
the hare feels itself on the ground it will run away as quickly as 
possible, and the wild beasts will turn to pursue it. In this way 
you will be able to get through the wood unhurt.' 

Iwanich thanked the old man for his counsel, dismounted from 
his horse, and, taking the bag and the hare in his arms, he entered 
the forest. He had hardly lost sight of his gaunt grey friend when 
he heard growls and snarls in the thicket close to him, and before 
he had time to think he found himself surrounded by the most 
dreadful -looking creatures. On one side he saw the glittering eye 
of a cruel tiger, on the other the gleaming teeth of a great she- 
wolf; here a huge bear growled fiercely, and there a horrible snake 
coiled itself in the grass at his feet. 

But Iwanich did not forget the old man's advice, and quickly 
put his hand into the bag and took out as many bread-crumbs as 
he could hold in his hand at a time. He threw them to the beasts, 
but soon the bag grew lighter and lighter, and the Prince began to 
feel a little frightened. And now the last crumb was gone, and the 
hungry beasts thronged round him, greedy for fresh prey. Then he 
seized the hare and threw it to them. 

No sooner did the little creature feel itself on the ground than 
it laid back its ears and flew through the wood like an arrow from 
a bow, closely pursued by the wild beasts, and the Prince was left 
alone. He looked at his ring, and when he saw that it sparkled as 
brightly as ever he went straight on through the forest. 

He hadn't gone very far when he saw a most extraordinary 
looking man coming towards him. He w r as not moro than three 
feet high, his legs were quite crooked, and all his body was covered 
with prickles like a hedgehog. Two lions walked with him, fas- 
tened to his side by the two ends of his long beard. 

He stopped the Prince and asked him iii a harsh voice : 'Are 
you the man who ha3 just fed my body-guard ? ' 



168 



THE WITCH AND BEli SERVANTS 



Iwanich was so startled that he could hardly reply, but the 
little man continued : ' I am most grateful to you for your kind- 
ness ; what can I give you as a reward ? ' 

* All I ask,' replied Iwanich, 'is, that I should be allowed to go 
through this wood in safety.' 

' Most certainly,' answered the little man ; ' and for greater 
security 1" will give you one of my lions as a protector. But when 
you leave this wood and come near a palace which does not belong 
to my domain, let the lion go, in order that he may not fall into the 
hands of an enemy and be killed.' 




TytTf K|CKLY : Ha m WTT > f ttlS.'ftTTENPANTS 




With these words he loosened the Hon from his beard and bade 
the beast guard the youth carefully. 

With this new protector Iwanich wandered on through the 
forest, and though he came upon a great many more wolves, hyenas, 
leopards, and other wild beasts, tbey always kept at a respectful 
distance when they saw what sort of an escort the Prince had with 
him. 

Iwanich hurried through the wood as quickly as his legs would 
carry him, but, nevertheless, hour after hour went by and not a 
trace of a green field or a human habitation met his eyes. At 




Militia. & Ker maidens in tk garden ®? 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE WITCH AND HEli SERVANTS 169 

length, towards evening, the mass of trees grew more transparent, 
and through the interlaced branches a wide plain was visible. 

At the exit of the wood the lion stood still, and the Prince took 
leave of him, having first thanked him warmly for his kind pro- 
tection. It had become quite dark, and Iwanich was forced to wait 
for daylight before continuing his journey. 

He made himself a bed of grass and leaves, lit a fire of dry 
branches, and slept soundly till the next morning. 

Then he got up and walked towards a beautiful white palace 
which he saw gleaming in the distance. In about an hour he 
reached the building, and opening the door he walked in. 

After wandering through many marble halls, he came to a huge 
staircase made of porphyry, leading down to a lovely garden. 

The Prince burst into a shout of joy when he suddenly per* 
ccived Militza in the centre of a group of girls who were weaving 
wreaths of flowers with which to deck their mistress. 

As soon as Militza saw the Prince she ran up to him and 
embraced him tenderly ; and after he had told her all his adven- 
tures, they went into the palace, where a sumptuous meal awaited 
them. Then the Princess called her court together, and introduced 
Iwanich to them as her future husband. 

Preparations were at once made for the wedding, which was 
held soon after with great pomp and magnificence. 

Three months of great happiness followed, when Militza re- 
ceived one day an invitation to visit her mother's sister. 

Although the Princess was very unhappy at leaving her hus- 
band, she did not like to refuse the invitation, and, promising to 
return in seven days at the latest, she took a tender farewell of the 
Prince, and said : ' Before I go I will hand you over all the koys 
of the castle. Go everywhere and do anything yon like ; only one 
thing I beg and beseech yon, do not open the little iron door in the 
north tower, which is closed with seven locks and seven bolts ; for 
if you do, we shall both suffer for it.' 

Iwanich promised what she asked, and Militza departed, re- 
peating her promise to return in seven days. 

"When the Prince found himself alone he began to be tormented 
by pangs of curiosity as to what the room in the tower contained. 
For two days he resisted the temptation to go and look, but on the 
third he could stand it no longer, and taking a torch in his hand 
he hurried to the tower, and unfastened one lock after the other of 
the little iron door until it burst open. 



170 THE WITCH AND HEB SERVANTS 

What an unexpected sight met his gaze ! The Prince perceived 
a small room black with smoke, lit up feebly by a fire from which 
issued long blue flames. Over the fire hung a huge cauldron full 
of boiling pitch, and fastened into the cauldron by iron chains stood 
a wretched man screaming with agony. 

Iwanich was much horrified at the sight before him, and asked 
the man what terrible crime he had committed to be punished in 
this dreadful fashion. 

' I will tell you everything,' said the man in the cauldron ; ' but 
first relieve my torments a little, I implore you.' 

' And how can I do that ? ' asked the Prince. 

' With a little water,' replied the man ; ' only sprinkle a few 
drops over me and I shall feel better.' 

The Prince, moved by pity, without thinking what he was doing, 
ran to the courtyard of the castle, and filled a jug with water, which 
he poured over the man in the cauldron. 

In a moment a most fearful crash was heard, as if all the pillars 
of the palace were giving way, and the palace itself, with towers and 
doors, windows and the cauldron, whirled round the bewildered 
Prince's head. This continued for a few minutes, and then every- 
thing vanished into thin air, and Iwanich found himself suddenly 
alone upon a desolate heath covered with rocks and stones. 

The Prince, who now realised what his heedlessness had done, 
cursed too late his spirit of curiosity. In his despair he wandered 
on over the heath, never looking where he put his feet, and full of 
sorrowful thoughts. At last he saw a light in the distance, which 
came from a miserable -looking little hut. 

The owner of it was none other than the kind-hearted gaunt 
grey beggar who had given the Prince the bag of bread-crumbs and 
the hare. Without recognising Iwanich, he opened the door when 
he knocked and gave him shelter for the night. 

On the following morning the Prince asked his host if he could 
get him any work to do, as he was quite unknown in the neighbour- 
hood, and had not enough money to take him home. 

' My son,' replied the old man, ' all this country round here is 
uninhabited ; I myself have to wander to distant villages for my 
living, and even then I do not very often find enough to satisfy my 
hunger. But if you would like to take service with the old witch 
Corva, go straight up the little stream which flows below my hut 
for about three hours, and you will come to a sand-hill on the left- 
hand side ; that is where she lives*' 



THE WITCH AND HER SERVANTS 171 

Iwanich thanked the gaunt grey beggar for his information, and 
went on his way. 

After walking for abont three hours the Prince came upon a 
dreary-looking grey stone wall ; this was the back of the building 
and did not attract him; but when he eame upon the front of the 
house he found it even less inviting, for the old witch had sur- 
rounded her dwelling with a fence of spikes, on every one of which 
a man's skull was stuck. In this horrible enclosure stood a small 
black house, which had only two grated windows, all covered with 
cobwebs, and a battered iron door. 

The Prince knocked, and a rasping woman's voice told him to 
enter. 

Iwanich opened the door, and found himself in a smoke-begrimed 
kitchen, in the presence of a hideous old woman who was warming 
her skinny hands at a fire. The Prince offered to beeome her 
servant, and the old hag told him she was badly in want of one, and 
he seemed to be just the person to suit her. 

When Iwanich asked what his work, and how much his wages 
would be, the witch bade hitn follow her, and led the way through 
a narrow damp passage into a vault, which served as a stable. Hero 
he perceived two pitch-black horses in a stall. 

1 You see before yon,' said the old woman, ' a mare and her foal ; 
you have nothing to do but to lead them out to the fields every day, 
and to see that neither of them runs away from you. If you look 
after them both for a whole year I will give you anything you like 
to ask ; but if, on the other hand, you let either of the animals 
escape you, your last hour is come, and your head shall be stuck 
on the last spike of my fence. The other spikes, as you see, are 
already adorned, and the skulls are all those of different servants 1 
have had who have failed to do what I demanded.' 

Iwanich, who thought he could not be much worse off than ho 
was already, agreed to the witch's proposal. 

At daybreak next morning ho drove his horses to the field, and 
brought them back in the evening without their ever having 
attempted to break away from him. The witch stood at her door 
and received him kindly, and set a good meal before him. 

So it continued for some time, and all went well with the Prince. 
Early every morning he led the horses out to the fields, and brought 
them home safe and sound in the evening. 

One day, while he was watching the horses, he came to the 
banks of a river, and saw a big fish, which through some mischance 

o2 



172 THE WITCH AND HEB SERVANTS 

had been cast on the land, struggling hard to get back into the 
water. 

Iwanich, who felt sorry for the poor creature, seized it in his 
arms and flung it into the stream. But no sooner did the fish find 
itself in the water again, than, to the Prince's amazement, it swam 
up to the bank and said : 

* My kind benefactor, how can I reward you for your goodness ? * 

'I desire nothing/ answered the Prince. 'I am quite content 
to have been able to be of some service to you. v 

4 You must do me the favour,' replied the fish, ' to take a scale 
from my body, and keep it carefully. If you should ever need 
my help, throw it into the river, and I will come to your aid at 
once.' 

Iwanich bowed, loosened a scale from the body of the grateful 
beast, put it carefully away, and returned home. 

A short time after this, when he was going early one morning to 
the usual grazing place with his horses, he noticed a flock of birds 
assembled together making a great noise and flying wildly backwards 
and forwards. 

Full of curiosity, Iwanich hurried up to the spot, and saw that a 
large number of ravens had attacked an eagle, and although the 
eagle was big and powerful and was making a brave fight, it was 
overpowered at last by numbers, and had to give in. 

But the Prince, who was sorry for the poor bird, seized the 
branch of a tree and hit out at the ravens with it ; terrified at 
this Tmexpected onslaught they flew away, leaving many of their 
number dead or wounded on the battlefield. 

As soon as the eagle saw itself free from its tormentors it plucked 
a feather from its wing, and, handing it to the Prince, said : ' Here, 
my kind benefactor, take this feather as a proof of my gratitude ; 
should you ever be in need of my help blow this feather into the air, 
and I will help you as much as is in my power.' 

Iwanich thanked the bird, and placing the feather beside the 
scale he drove the horses home. 

Another day he had wandered farther than usual, and came 
close to a farmyard ; the place pleased the Prince, and as there was 
plenty of good grass for the horses he determined to spend the day 
there. Just as he was sitting down under a tree he heard a cry 
close to him, and saw a fox which had been caught in a trap placed 
there by the farmer. 

In vain did the poor beast try to free itself; then the good- 




HW7UYICK .'CASTS THtriiK -Into 



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THE WITCH AND HEIl SERVANTS 173 

natnred Prince came once more to the rescue, and let the fox out of 
the trap. 

The fox thanked him heartily, tore two hairs out of his bushy 
tail, and said : ' Should you ever stand in need of my help throw 
these two hairs into the fire, and in a moment I shall be at your 
side ready to obey yon.' 

Iwanich put the fox's hairs with the scale and the feather, and 
as it was getting dark he hastened home with his horses. 

In the meantime his service was drawing near to an end, and 
in three more days the year was up, and he would be able to get his 
reward and leave the witch. 

On the first evening of these last three days, when he came home 
and was eating his supper, he noticed the old woman stealing into 
the stables. 

The Prince followed her secretly to see what she was going to 
do. He crouched down in the doorway and heard the wicked 
witch telling tho horses to wait next morning till Iwanich was 
asleep, and then to go and hide themselves in the river, and to stay 
there till she told them to return ; and if they didn't do as she 
told them the old woman threatened to beat them till they bled. 

When Iwanich heard all this he went back to his room, determined 
that nothing should induce him to fall asleep next day. On tho 
following morning he led the mare and foal to the fields as usual, 
but bound a cord round them both which he kept in his hand. 

But after a few hours, by the magic arts of tho old witch, he was 
overpowered by sleep, and the mare and foal escaped and did as 
they had been told to do. The Prince did not awake till late in tho 
evening; and when he did, he found, to his horror, that the horses had 
disappeared. Filled with despair, he cursed the moment when ho 
had entered the service of the cruel witch, and already he saw his 
head sticking up on the sharp spike besido tho others. 

Then he suddenly remembered the fish's scale, which, with tho 
eagle's feather and the fox's hairs, he always carried about with 
him. He drew the scalo from his pocket, and hurrying to tho 
river ho threw it in. In a minute the grateful fish swam towards 
the bank on which Iwanich was standing, and said : ' What do you 
command, my friend and benefactor ? ' 

Tho Prince replied : ' I had to look after a mare and foal, and 
they have run away from me and have hidden themselves in tho 
river; if you wish, to save my life drive them back to the land.' 

* Wait a moment,* answered the fish, ' and I and my friends 



174 THE WITCH AND HER SERVANTS 

will soon drive them out of the water.' "With these words the 
creature disappeared into the depths of the stream. 

Almost immediately a rushing hissing sound was heard in the 
waters, the waves dashed against the banks, the foam was tossed 
into the air, and the two horses leapt suddenly on to the dry land, 
trembling and shaking with fear. 

Iwanich sprang at once on to the mare's back, seized the foal by 
its bridle, and hastened home in the highest spirits. 

When the witch saw the Prince bringing the horses home she 
could hardly conceal her wrath, and as soon as she had placed 
Iwanich's supper before him she stole away again to the stables. 
The Prince followed her, and heard her scolding the beasts harshly 
for not having hidden themselves better. She bade them wait 
next morning till Iwanich was asleep and then to hide themselves 
in the clouds, and to remain there till she called. If they did not 
do as she told them she would beat them till they bled. 

The next morning, after Iwanich had led his horses to the fields, 
he fell once more into a magic sleep. The horses at once ran away 
and hid themselves in the clouds, which hung down from the 
mountains in soft billowy masses. 

"When the Prince awoke and found that both the mare and the 
foal had disappeared, he bethought him at once of the eagle, and 
taking the feather out of his pocket he blew it into the air. 

In a moment the bird swooped down beside him and asked : 
' What do yon wish me to do ? ' 

' My mare and foal,' replied the Prince, ' have run away from 
me, and have hidden themselves in the clouds ; if you wish to save 
my life, restore both animals to me.' 

' Wait a minute,' answered the eagle ; ' with the help of my 
friends I will soon drive them back to you.' 

With these words the bird tlew up into the air and disappeared 
among the clouds. 

Almost directly Iwanich saw his two horses being driven towards 
him by a host of eagles of all sizes. He caught the mare and foal, 
and having thanked the eagle he drove them cheerfully home 
again . 

The old witch was more disgusted than ever when she saw him 
appearing, and having set his supper before him she stole into the 
stables, and Iwanich heard her abusing the horses for not having 
hidden themselves better in the clouds. Then she bade them hide 
themselves next morning, as soon as Iwanich was asleep, in the 



Tim WITCH AND HEli SERVANTS 175 

lung's hen-house, which stood on a lonely part of the heath, and to 
remain there till she called. If they failed to do as she told them 
she would certainly beat them this time till they bled. 

On the following morning the Prince drove his horses as usual 
to the fields. After he had been overpowered by sleep, as on the 
former days, the mare and foal ran away and hid themselves in the 
royal hen-house. 

When the Prince awoke and found the horses gone he deter- 
mined to appeal to the fox ; so, lighting a fire, he threw the two 
hairs into it, and in a few moments the fox stood beside him and 
asked : ' In what way can I serve you ? ' 

' I wish to know,' replied Iwanich, ( where the King's lien-house is.' 

' Hardly an hour's walk from here,' answered the fox, and 
offered to show the Prince the way to it. 

While they were walking along the fox asked him what he 
wanted to do at the royal hen-house. The Prince told him of the 
misfortune that had befallen him, and of the necessity of recovering 
the mare and foal. 

'That is no easy matter,' replied the fox. 'But wait a moment. 
I have an idea. Stand at the door of the hen-house, and wait there 
for your horses. In the meantime I will slip in among the hens 
through a hole in the wall and give them a good chase, so that the 
noise they make will arouse the royal henwives, and they will 
come to see what is the matter. When they see the horses they 
will at once imagine them to be the cause of the disturbance, and 
will drive tliem out. Then you must lay hands on the mare and 
foal and catch them. 

All turned out exactly as the sly fox had foreseen. The Prince 
swung himself on the marc, seized the foal by its bridle, and hurried 
home. 

While he was riding over the heath in the highest of spirits the 
mare suddenly said to her rider : * You are tho first person who has 
ever succeeded in outwitting tho old witch Corva, and now you 
may ask what reward you like for your service. If you promise 
never to betray mo I will give you a piece of advice which you will 
do well to follow.' 

The Prince promised never to betray her confidence, and tho 
mare continued : ' Ask nothing else as a reward than my foal, for it 
has not its like in the world, and is not to bo bought for love or 
money; for it can go, from one end of the earth io another in a few 
minutes. Of course the cunning Corva Will nV her best to dissuade 



1?6 



THM WITCH AND HER SERVANTS 



you from taking the foal, and will tell you that it is both idle and 
sickly ; but do not believe her, and stick to your point.* 




Iwanich seizes the Magician by his beard and dashes him to the ground 



mare 



JrilwSvir 638 such * - 1 ' 



and promised the 



THE WITCH AND HEli SERVANTS 177 

This time Corva received him in the most friendly manner, and 
set a sumptuous repast before him. As soon as he had finished 
she asked him what reward he demanded for his year's service. 

' Nothing more nor less,' replied the Prince, ( than the foal of 
your mare.' 

The witch pretended to be much astonished at his request, and 
said that he deserved something much better than the foal, for the 
beast was lazy and nervous, blind in one eye, and, in short, was 
quite worthless. 

But the Prince knew what he wanted, and when the old witch 
saw that he had made up his mind to have the foal, she said, ' I 
am obliged to keep my promise and to hand you over the foal ; 
and as I know who you are and what you want, I will tell you in 
what way the animal will be useful to you. The man in the caul- 
dron of boiling pitch, whom you set free, is a mighty magician ; 
through yoiu* curiosity and thoughtlessness Militza came into his 
power, and he has transported her and her castle and belongings 
into a distant country. 

' You are the only person who can kill him ; and in consequence 
he fears you to such an extent that he has set spies to watch you, 
and they report your movements to him daily. 

' When you have reached him, beware of speaking a single word 
to him, or you will fall into the power of his friends. Seize him at 
once by the beard and dash him to the ground.' 

Iwanich thanked the old witch, mounted his foal, put spurs to 
its sides, and they Hew like lightning through the air. 

Already it was growing dark, when Iwanich perceived some 
figures in the distance ; they soon came up to them, and then the 
Prince saw that it was the magician and his friends who were 
driving through the air in a carriage drawn by owls. 

When the magician found himself face to face with Iwanich, 
without hope of escape, he turned to him with false friendliness 
and said : ' Thrice my kind benefactor ! ' 

Put tho Prince, without saying a word, seized him at once by 
his beard and dashed him to the ground. At the same moment 
tho foal sprang on the top of the magician and kicked and stamped 
on him with his hoofs till he died. 

Then Iwanich found himself once more in tho palace of his 
bride, and Militza herself Hew into his arms. 

Prom this time forward thev lived in undisturbed peace and 
happh^ss till the end of their hves. 



178 



THE MAGIC RING 

ONCE upon a time there lived an old couple who had one son 
called Martin. Now when the old man's time had come, he 
stretched himself out on his bed and died. Though all his life 
long he had toiled and moiled, he only left his widow and son two 
hundred florins. The old woman determined to put by the money 
for a rainy day ; but alas ! the rainy day was close at hand, for 
their meal was all consumed, and who is prepared to face starva- 
tion with two hundred florins at their disposal? So the old 
woman counted out a hundred of her florins, and giving them to 
Martin, told him to go into the town and lay in a store of meal for 
a year. 

So Martin started off for the town. When he reached the 
meat-market he found the whole place in turmoil, and a great 
noise of angry voices and barking of dogs. Mixing in the crowd, 
he noticed a stag-hound which the butchers had caught and tied to 
a post, and which was being flogged in a merciless manner. Over- 
come with pity, Martin spoke to the butchers, saying : 

' Friends, why are you beating the poor dog so cruelly ? ' 

'We have every right to beat him,' they replied; 'he has just 
devoured a newly-killed pig.' 

1 Leave off beating him,' said Martin, ' and sell him to me 
instead.' 

' If you choose to buy him,' answered the butchers derisively ; 
1 but for such a treasure we won't take a penny less than a 
hundred florins.' 

' A hundred! ' exclaimed Martin. ' Well, so be it, if you will 
not take less ; ' and, taking the money out of his pocket, he handed 
it over in exchange for the dog, whose name was Schurka. 

When Martin got home, his mother met him with the question : 

' Well, what have you bought ? * 

* Schurka, the dog,' replied Martin, pointing to his new possession. 



THE MAGIC RING 179 

Whereupon his mother became very angry, and abused him 
roundly. He ought to be ashamed of himself, when there was 
scarcely a handful of meal in the house, to have spent the money 
on a useless brnte like that. On the following day she sent him 
back to the town, saying, ( Here, take our last hundred florins, and 
buy provisions with them. I have just emptied the last grains of 
meal out of the ehest, and baked a bannock ; but it won't last over 
to-morrow.' 

Just as Martin was entering the town he met a rough-looking 
peasant who was dragging a cat after him by a string which was 
fastened round the poor beast's neck. 

1 Stop,' cried Martin ; ' where are you dragging that poor cat ? ' 

' I mean to drown him,' was the answer. 

4 What harm has the poor beast done ? ' said Martin. 

' It has just killed a goose,' replied the peasant. 

1 Don't drown him, sell him to me instead,' begged Martin. 

1 Not for a hundred florins,' was the answer. 

1 Surely for a hundred florins you'll sell it ? ' said Martin. ' See ! 
here is the money ; ' and, so saying, he handed him the hundred 
florins, which the peasant pocketed, and Martin took possession of 
the cat, which was called Waska. 

When he reached his home his mother greeted him with the 
question : 

' Well, what have you brought back ? ' 

' 1 have brought this cat, Waska,' answered Martin. 

* And what besides ? ' 

'I had no money over to buy anything elso with,' replied 
Martin. 

* Yon useless no'er-do-weel ! ' exclaimed his mother in a great 
passion. ' Leave the house at once, and go and beg your bread 
among strangers ; ' and as Martin did not dare to contradict her, 
he called Schurka and Waska and started off with them to tlio 
nearest villago in search of work. On the way he met a rich 
peasant, who asked him where ho ^\as going. 

' 1 want to get work as a day labourer,' he answered. 

'Come along with me, then. But I must tell you I engage 
my labourers without wages. If you serve me faithfully for a year, 
I promise you it shall be for your advantage.' 

So Martin consented, and for a year ho worked diligently, and 
served his master faithfully, not sparing himself in any way. 
When the day of reckoning had come the peasant led him into a 



180 THE MAGIC RING 

barn, and pointing to two full sacks, said : ' Take whichever of these 
you choose.' 

Martin examined the contents of the sacks, and seeing that one 
was full of silver and the other of sand, he said to himself: 

' There inust be some trick about this ; I had better take the 
sand.' And throwing the sack over his shoulders he started out into 
the world, in search of fresh work. On and on he walked, and at 
last he reached a great gloomy wood. In the middle of the wood 
he came upon a meadow, where a fire was burning, and in the 
midst of the fire, surrounded by flames, was a lovely damsel, more 
beautiful than anything that Martin had ever seen, and when she 
saw him she called to him : 

' Martin, if you would win happiness, save my life. Extinguish 
the flames with the sand that you earned in payment of your 
faithful service.' 

' Truly,' thought Martin to himself, ' it w T ould be more sensible 
to save a fellow-being's life with this sand than to drag it about on 
one's back, seeing what a weight it is.' And forthwith he lowered 
the sack from his shoulders and emptied its contents on the flames, 
and instantly the fire was extinguished; but at the same moment 
lo ! and behold the lovely damsel turned into a Serpent, and, darting 
upon him, coiled itself round his neck, and whispered lovingly in 
his ear : 

' Do not be afraid of me, Martin ; I love you, and will go with 
yon through the world, But first you must follow me boldly into 
my Father's Kingdom, underneath the earth ; and when we get 
there, remember this— he will offer you gold and silver, and 
dazzling gems, but do not touch them. Ask him, instead, for the ring 
which he wears on his little finger, for in that ring lies a magic 
power ; you have only to throw it from one hand to the other, 
and at once twelve young men will appear, who will do your 
bidding, no matter how difficult, in a single night.' 

So they started on their way, and after much wandering they 
reached a spot where a great rock rose straight up in the middle of 
the road. Instantly the Serpent uncoiled itself from his neck, and, 
as it touched the damp earth, it resumed the shape of the lovely 
damsel. Pointing to the rock, she showed him an opening just 
big enough for a man to wriggle through. Passing into it, they 
entered a long underground passage, which led out on to a 
wide field, above which spread a blue sky. In the middle of the 
field stood a magnificent castle, built out of porphyry, with a roof 



THE MAGIC KING 



131 



of gold and with glittering battlements. And his beautiful guide 
told him that this was the palace in which her father lived and 
reigned over his kingdom in the Under- world. 




Martin extinguishes the flames 

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182 THE MAGIC BING 

Together they entered the palace, and were received by the 
King with great kindness. Turning to his daughter, he said : 

' My child, I had almost given up the hope of ever seeing you 
again. "Where have you been all these years ? ' 

'My father,' she replied, 'I owe my life to this youth, who 
saved me from a terrible death.' 

Upon which the King turned to Martin with a gracious smile, 
saying : ' I will reward your courage by granting you whatever 
your heart desires. Take as much gold, silver, and precious stones 
as yon choose.' 

' I thank you, mighty King, for your gracious offer,' answered 
Martin,' ' but I do not covet either gold, silver, or precious stones ; 
yet if you will grant me a favour, give ine, I beg, the ring from off 
the little finger of your royal hand. Every time my eye falls on it 
I shall think of your gracious Majesty, and when I marry I shall 
present it to my bride.' 

So the King took the ring from his finger and gave it to Martin, 
saying : * Take it, good youth ; but with it I make one condition — 
you are never to confide to anyone that this is a magic ring. If you 
do, you will straightway bring misfortune on yourself.' 

Martin took the ring, and, having thanked the King, he set out 
on the same road by which he had come down into the Under-world. 
When he had regained the upper air he started for his old home, 
and having found his mother still living in the old house where he 
had left her, they settled down together very happily. So unevent- 
ful was their life that it almost seemed as if it would go on in 
this way always, without let or hindrance. But one day it 
suddenly came into his mind that he would like to get married, 
and, moreover, that he would choose a very grand wife— a King's 
daughter, in short. But as he did not trust himself as a wooer, 
he determined to send his old mother on the mission. 

* You must go to the King,' he said to her, ' and demand the 
hand of his lovely daughter in marriage for me.' 

* "What are you thinking of, my son ? ' answered the old woman, 
aghast at the idea. ' "Why cannot yon marry someone in your 
own rank ? That would be far more fitting than to send a poor old 
woman like me a-wooing to the King's Court for the hand of a 
Princess. 'Why, it is as much as our heads are worth. Neither 
my life nor yours would be worth anything if I went on such a 
fool's errand.' 

* Never fear, little mother,' answered Martin. ' Trust me ; all 



THE MAGIC KING 183 

will bo well. But seo that you do not come back without an 
answer of some kind.' 

And so, obedient to her son's behest, the old woman hobbled off 
to the palace, and, without being hindered, reached the courtyard, 
and began to mount the flight of steps leading to the royal presence 
chamber. At the head of the landing rows of courtiers were 
collected in magnificent attire, who stared at the queer old figure, 
and called to her, and explained to her, with every kind of sign, 
that it was strictly forbidden to mount those steps. But their 
stern words and forbidding gestures made no impression whatever 
on the old woman, and she resolutely continued to climb the stairs, 
bent on carrying out her son's orders. Upon this some of the 
courtiers seized her by the arms, and held her back by sheer force, 
at which she set up such a yell that tho King himself heard it, and 
stepped out on to the balcony to see what was tho matter. When 
he beheld the old woman Hinging her arms wildly about, and heard 
her scream that she would not leave the place till sho had laid 
her case before tho King, he ordered that she should be brought 
into his presence. And forthwith she was conducted into the 
golden presence chamber, where, leaning back amongst cushions of 
royal purple, the King sat, surrounded by his counsellors and 
courtiers. Courtesying low, the old woman stood silent before 
him. ' AVell, my good old dame, what can I do for you ? ' asked 
the King. 

'I have come,' replied Martin's mother— 'and your Majesty 
must not be angry with me — I have come a- wooing.' 

' Is the woman out of her mind ? ' said the King, with an angry 
frown. 

But Martin's mother answered boldly : ' If the King will only 
listen patiently to me, and give me a straightforward answer, he 
will see that I am not out of my mind. You, King, havo a 
lovely daughter to givo in marriage. I have a son — a wooer as 
clever a youth and as good a son-in-law as you will find in your 
whole kingdom. There is nothing that ho cannot do. Now tell 
me, King, plump and plain, will you givo youi daughter to my 
son as wife? ' The King listened to tho end of tho old woman's 
strange request, but every moment his face grew blacker, and his 
features sterner ; till all at once he thought to himself, * Is it worth 
while that I, tho King, should be angry with this poor old fool ? ' 
And all tho courtiers and counsellors were amazed when they saw 
tho hard lines round Ins niouth and the frown on his brow grow 

Y. F 



184 THE MAGIC BING 

smooth, and heard the mild but mocking tones in which he 
answered the old woman, saying : 

4 If your son is as wonderfully clever as you say, and if there is 
nothing in the world that he cannot do, let him build a magnificent 
castle, just opposite my palace windows, in four and twenty hours. 
The palace must be joined together by a bridge of pure crystal. 
On each side of the bridge there must be growing trees, having 
golden and silver apples, and with birds of Paradise among the 
branches. At the right of the bridge there must be a church, with 
five golden cupolas ; in this church your son shall be wedded to 
my daughter, and we will keep the wedding festivities in the new 
castle. But if he fails to execute this my royal command, then, as 
a just but mild monarch, I shall give orders that you and he are 
taken, and first dipped in tar and then in feathers, and you shall 
be executed in the market-place for the entertainment of my 
courtiers.' 

And a smile played round* the King's lips as he finished speak- 
ing, and his courtiers and counsellors shook with laughter when 
they thought of the old woman's folly, and praised the King's 
wise device, and said to each other, ' What a joke it will be when 
we see the pair of them tarred and feathered ! The son is just 
as able to grow a beard on the palm of his hand as to execute such 
a task in twenty- four hours.' 

Now the poor old woman was mortally afraid and, in a trembling 
voice she asked : 

* Is that really your royal will, King ? Must I take this 
order to my poor son ? ' 

' Yes, old dame ; such is my command. If your son carries out 
my order, he shall be rewarded with my daughter ; but if he fails, 
away to the tar -barrel and the stake with you both ! ' 

On her way home the poor old woman shed bitter tears, and 
when she saw Martin she told him what the King had said, and 
sobbed out : 

' Didn't I tell you, my son, that you should marry someone of your 
own rank ? It would have been better for us this day if you had. 
As I told you, my going to Court has been as much as our lives are 
worth, and now we will both be tarred and feathered, and burnt in 
the public market-place. It is terrible ! ' and she moaned and cried. 

* Never fear, little mother,' answered Martin ; ' trust me, and you 
will see all will be well. You may go to sleep with a quiet mind.' 

And, stepping to the front of the hut, Martin threw his ring 



THE MAGIC RING 185 

from the palm of one hand into the other, upon which twelve 
youths instantly appeared, and demanded what he wanted them to 
do. Then he told them the King's commands, and they answered 
that by next morning all should be accomplished exactly as the 
King had ordered. 

Next morning when the King awoke, and looked out of his 
window, to his amazement he beheld a magnificent castle, just 
opposite his own palace, and joined to it a bridge of pure crystal. 

At each side of the bridge trees were growing, from whose 
branches hung golden and silver apples, among which birds of 
Paradise perched. At the right, gleaming in the sun, were the five 
golden cupolas of a splendid church, whose bells rang out, as if 
they would summon people from all corners of the earth to come 
and behold the wonder. Now, though the King would much rather 
have seen his future son-in-law tarred, feathered, and burnt at the 
stake, he remembered his royal oath, and had to make the best of 
a bad business. So he took heart of grace, and made Martin a 
Dnke, and gave his daughter a rich dowry, and prepared the 
grandest wedding-feast that had ever been seen, so that to this 
day tho old people in the country still talk of it. 

After the wedding Martin and his royal bride went to dwell in 
the magnilicent new palace, and here Martin lived in the greatest 
comfort and luxury, such luxury as he had never imagined. But 
though he was as happy as the day was long, and as merry as a 
grig, the King's daughter fretted all day, thinking of the indignity 
that had been done her in making her marry Martin, the poor widow's 
son, instead of a rich young Prince from a foreign country. So 
unhappy was she that she spent all her time wondering how sho 
should get rid of her undesirable husband. And first she determined 
to learn the secret of his power, and, with flattering, caressing words, 
she tried to coax him to tell her how he was so clever that thero 
was nothing in the world that he could not do. At first he would 
tell her nothing ; but once, when he was in a yielding mood, 
she approached him with a winning smile on her lovely face, and, 
speaking flattering words to him, she gave him a potion to drink, 
with a sweet, strong taste. And when he had drunk it Martin's 
lips were unsealed, and he told her that all his power lay in tho 
magic ring that he wore on his finger, and he described to her how 
to use it, and, still speaking, he fell into a deep sleep. And when 
she saw that tho potion had worked, and that he was sound asleep, 
the Princess took tho ruagia ring from hifc nngrr r and, going into 

r-2 



186 



THE MAGIC BING 



the courtyard, she threw it from the palm of one hand into the 
other. On the instant the twelve youths appeared, and asked her 
what she commanded them to do. Then she told them that by 
the next morning they were to do away with the castle, and the 
bridge, and the church, and put in their stead the humble hut in 
which Martin used to live with his mother, and that while he slept 
her husband was to be carried to his old lowly room ; and that 
they were to bear her away to the utmost ends of the earth, where 
an old King lived who would make her welcome in his palace, and 
surround her with the state that befitted a royal Princess. 

1 You shall be obeyed,' answered the twelve youths at the same 
moment. And lo and behold ! the following morning, when the King 




£ QBS ^w/4jjJ«MgSIi^tfflgQ0P-^a 



awoke and looked out of his window he beheld to his amazement 
that the palace, bridge, church, and trees had all vanished, and there 
was nothing in their place but a bare, miserable -looking hut. 

Immediately the King sent for his son-in-law, and commanded 
him to explain what had happened. But Martin looked at his 
royal father-in-law, and answered never a word. Then the King 
was very angry, and, calling a council together, he charged Martin 
with having been guilty of witchcraft, and of having deceived the 
King, and having made away with the Princess ; and he was con- 
demned to imprisonment in a high stone tower, with neither meat 
nor drink, till he should die of starvation. 

Then, in the hour of his dire necessity, his old friends Schurka 
(the dog) and AVaska.(the cat) remembered how Martin had once 



THE MAGIC RING 



187 



saved them from a cruel death ; and they took counsel together as 
to how they should help him. And Schurka growled, and was of 
opinion that he would liko to tear everyone in pieces ; but "Waska 
purred meditatively, and scratched the back of her car with a 
velvet paw, and remained lost in thought. At the end of a few 
minutes she had made up her mind, and, turning to Schurka, said : 
4 Let us go together into the town, and the moment we meet a 
baker you must make a rush between his legs and upset the tray 




-■^■■^ZmiaZ 



Schurka upsets the baker 

from off his head ; I will lay hold of the rolls, and will carry them 
off to our master.' No sooner said than done. Together the two 
faithful creatures trotted off into the town, and very soon they met 
a baker bearing a tray on his head, and looking round on all sides, 
while he cried : 

' Fresh rolls, sweet cake, 

Fancy bread of every kind. 
Come and bin , corno and take, 
Sure you'll End it to your mind.' 



188 THE MAGIC BING 

At that moment Schurka made a rush between his legs — the 
baker stumbled, the tray was upset, the rolls fell to the ground, 
and, while the man angrily pursued Schurka, Waska managed to 
drag the rolls out of sight behind a bush. And when a moment 
later Schurka joined her, they set off at full tilt to the stone tower 
where Martin was a prisoner, taking the rolls with them. "Waska, 
being very agile, climbed up by the outside to the grated window, 
and called in an anxious voice : 

' Are you alive, master ? ' 

* Scarcely alive — almost starved to death,' answered Martin in 
a weak voice. ' I little thought it would come to this, that I 
should die of hunger.' 

* Never fear, dear master. Schurka and I will look after you,' 
said Waska. And in another moment she had climbed down and 
brought him back a roll, and then another, and another, till she 
had brought him the whole tray-load. Upon which she said : 
' Dear master, Schurka and I are going off to a distant kingdom at 
the utmost ends of the earth to fetch you back your magic ring 
You must be careful that the rolls last till our return. 1 

And Waska took leave of her beloved master, and set off with 
Schurka on their journey. On and on they travelled, looking 
always to right and left for traces of the Frincess, following up 
every track, making inquiries of every cat and dog they met, listen- 
ing to the talk of every wayfarer they passed ; and at last they 
heard that the kingdom at the utmost ends of the earth where 
the twelve youths had borne the Princess was not very far 
off. And at last one day they reached that distant kingdom, 
and, going at once to the palace, they began to make friends with 
all the dogs and cats in the place, and to question them about the 
Princess and the magic ring ; but no one could tell them much 
about either. Now one day it chanced that Waska had gone down 
to the palace cellar to hunt for mice and rats, and seeing an 
especially fat, well-fed mouse, she pounced upon it, buried her claws 
in its soft fur, and was just going to gobble it up, when she was 
stopped by the pleading tones of the little creature, saying, ' If you 
will only spare my life I may be of great service to you. I will do 
everything in my power for you ; for I am the King of the Mice, 
and if I perish the whole race will die out.' 

1 So be it,' said Waska. ' I will spare your life ; but in return 
you must do something for me. In this castle there lives a 
Princess, the wicked wife of my dear master. She has stolen 



THE MAGIC BING ISO 

away his magic ring. You must get it away from her at whatever 
cost ; do you hear ? Till you have done this I won't take my elaws 
out of your fur.' 

' Good ! ' replied the mouse ; ' I will do what you ask.' And, so 
saying, he summoned all the mice in his kingdom together. A 
countless number of mice, small and big, brown and grey, assembled, 
and formed a eircle round their king, who was a prisoner under 




Waska's claws. Turning to them he said : ' Dear and faithful 
subjects, who ever among you will steal the magic ring from the 
strange Princess will release me from a cruel death ; and I shall 
honour him above all the other mice in the kingdom.' 

Instantly a tiny mouse stepped forward and said : * I often creep 
about the Princess's bedroom at night, and I have noticed that sho 
has a ring which she treasures as the fipjhlo :oi' her eye. All day 



190 THE MAGIC RING 

she wears it on her finger, and at night she keeps it in her mouth. 
I will undertake, sire, to steal away the ring for you.' 

And the tiny mouse tripped away into the bedroom or the 
rrincess, and waited for nightfall ; then, when the Princess had 
fallen asleep, it crept up on to her bed, and gnawed a hole in the 
pillow, through which it dragged one by one little down feathers, 
and threw them under the Frincess's nose. And the fluff flew into 
the Princess's nose, and into her month, and starting up she 
sneezed and coughed, and the ring fell out of her mouth on to the 
coverlet. In a Hash the tiny mouse had seized it, and brought it 
to Waska as a ransom for the King of the Mice. Thereupon Waska 
and Schurka started off, and travelled night and day till they 
reached the stone tower whei*e Martin was imprisoned ; and the 
cat climbed up the window, and called out to him : 

' Martin, dear master, are you still alive ? ' 

' Ah ! Waska, my faithful little cat, is that you ? ' replied a weak 
voice. ' I am dying of hunger. For three days I have not tasted 
food.' 

1 Be of good heart, dear master,' replied Waska; ' from this day 
forth yoii will know nothing but happiness and prosperity. If this 
were a moment to trouble you with riddles, I would make you guess 
what Schurka and I have brought you back. Only think, we have 
got you your ring ! ' 

At these words Martin's joy knew no bounds, and he stroked 
her fondly, and she rubbed up against him and purred happily, 
while below Sclmrka bounded in the air, and barked joyfully. 
Then Martin took the riug, and threw it from one hand into the 
other, and instantly the twelve youths appeared and asked what 
they were to do. 

' Fetch me first something to eat and drink, as quickly as 
possible; and after that bring musicians hither, and let us have 
music all day long/ 

Now when the people in the town and palace heard music 
coming from the tower they were filled with amazement, and 
came to the King with the news that witchcraft must be going on 
m Martin's Tower, for, instead of dying of starvation, he was 
Seemingly making merry to the sound of music, aud to the clatter 
of plates, and glass, and knives and forks ; and the music was so 
enchantingly sweet that all the passers-by stood still to listen to it 
On this the King sent at once a messenger to the Starvation Tower, 
and he was so astonished with what he saw that he remained 



THE MAGIC RING 191 

rooted to the spot. Then the King sent his chief counsellors, and 
they too were transfixed with wonder. At last the King cam© 
himself, and he likewise was spellbound by the beauty of tho 
music. 

Then Martin summoned tho twelve youths, spoke to them, 
saying, ' Build up my castle again, and join it to the King's Palaco 
with a crystal bridge ; do not forget the trees with the golden and 
silver apples, and with the birds of Paradise in the branches ; and 
put back the church with the five cupolas, and let the bells ring 
out, summoning the people from the four corners of the kingdom. 
And one thing more : bring back my faithless wife, and lead her 
into the women's chamber.' 

And it was all done as he commanded, and, leaving the Starva- 
tion Tower, he took the King, his father-in-law, by the arm, and 
led him into the new palace, where the Princess sat in fear and 
trembling, awaiting her death. And Martin spoke to the King, 
saying, ' King and royal father, I have suffered much at the hands 
of your daughter. What punishment shall be dealt to her ? ' 

Then the mild King answered : ' Beloved Prince and son-in-law, 
if you love me, let your anger bo turned to grace— forgive my 
daughter, and restore her to your heart and favour.' 

And Martin's heart was softened and he forgave his wife, and 
they lived happily together ever after. And his old mother came 
and lived with him, and he never parted with Schurka and Waska ; 
and I need hardly tell you that he never again let the ring out of 
his possession. 



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102 



THE FLOWER QUEEN'S DAUGHTER 1 



A YOUNG Prince was riding one day through a meadow that 
stretched for miles in front of him, when he came to a deep 
open ditch. He was turning aside to avoid it, when he heard the 
sound of someone crying in the ditch. He dismounted from his 
horse, and stepped along in the direction the sound came from. To 
his astonishment he found an old woman, who begged him to help 
her out of the ditch. The Prince bent down and lifted her out of 
her living grave, asking her at the same time how she had managed 
to get there. 

' My son,' answered the old woman, ' I am a very poor woman, 
and soon after midnight I set out for the neighbouring town in order 
to sell my eggs in the market on the following morning ; but I lost 
my way in the dark, and fell into this deep ditch, where I might 
have remained for ever but for your kindness.' 

Then the Prince said to her, ' You can hardly walk ; I will put 
you on my horse and lead you home. Where do you live ? ' 

' Over there, at the edge of the forest in the little hut you see in 
the distance,' replied the old woman. 

The Prince lifted her on to his horse, and soon they reached the 
hut, where the old woman got down, and turning to the Prince said, 
* Just wait a moment, and I will give you something.' And she 
disappeared into her hut, but returned very soon and said, 'You 
are a mighty Prince, but at the same time you have a kind heart, 
which deserves to be rewarded. "Would you like to have the most 
beautiful woman in the world for your wife ? ' 

' Most certainly I would,' replied the Prince. 

Ho the old woman continued, * The most beautiful woman in the 
whole world is the daughter of the Queen of the Flowers, who has 
been captured by a dragon. If you wish to marry her, yon must 
first set her free, and this I will help you to do. I will give you 

1 Prom the Bukowinaer. Von Wliolocki. 



THE FLOWER QUEEN'S DAUGHTER 193 

this little bell : if you ring it once, the King of the Eagles will 
appear ; if you ring it twice, the King of the Foxes will come to 
you ; and if you ring it three times, you will see tho King of the 
Fishes by your side. These will help you if you are in any diffi- 
culty. Now farewell, and heaven prosper your undertaking.' She 
handed him the little bell, and there disappeared hut and all, as 
though the earth had swallowed her up. 

Then it dawned on the Prince that lie had been speaking to a 
good fairy, and putting the little bell carefully in his pocket, he rode 
home and told his father that he meant to set the daughter of the 
Flower Queen free, and intended setting out on the following day 
into the wide world in search of the maid. 

So the next morning the Prince mounted his fine horse and left 
his home. He had roamed round the world for a whole year, and 
his horse had died of exhaustion, while he himself had suffered 
much from want and misery, but still he had come on no trace of 
her he was in search of. At last one day he came to a hut, in front 
of which sat a very old man. The Prince asked him, ' Do you not 
know where the Dragon lives who keeps the daughter of the Flower 
Queen prisoner ? ' 

' No, I do not,' answered the old man. ' But if you go straight 
along this road for a year, you will reach a hut where my father 
lives, and possibly he may be able to tell you.' 

The Prince thanked him for his information, and continued his 
journey for a whole year along the same road, and at the end of it 
came to the little hut, where he found a very old man. Ho asked 
him the same question, and the old man answered, ' No, I do not 
know where the Dragon lives. But go straight along this road for 
another year, and you will como to a hut in which my father lives. 
I know he can tell yon.' 

And so the Prince wandered on for another year, always on tho 
Fame road, and at last reached tho hut where he found the third 
old man. lie put the same question to him as he had put to his 
son and grandson ; but this time tho old man answered, ' The 
Dragon lives up there on the mountain, and ho has just begun his 
year of sleep. For one whole year he is always awake, and the 
next ho sleeps. But if yon wish to see the Flower Queen's daughter 
go up the second mountain : tho Dragon's old mother Hves there, 
and she has a ball every night, to which tho Flower Queen's 
daughter goes regularly/ 

So the Prince went up the second mountain, where he found a 



194 THE FLOWER QUEEN'S DAUGHTER 

castle all made of gold with diamond windows. He opened the big 
gate leading into the courtyard, and was just going to walk in, when 
seven dragons rushed on him and asked him what he wanted ? 

The Prince replied, ' I have heard so much of the beauty and 
kindness of the Dragon's Mother, and would like to enter her 
service.' 

This flattering speech pleased the dragons, and the eldest of 
them said, ' Well, you may come with me, and I will take you to 
the Mother Dragon.' 

They entered the castle and walked through twelve splendid 
halls, all made of gold and diamonds. In the twelfth room they 
found the Mother Dragon seated on a diamond throne. She was 
the ugh est woman under the sun, and, added to it all, she had three 
heads. Her appearance was a great shock to the Prince, and so 
was her voice, which was like the croaking of many ravens. She 
asked him, * Why have you come here ? ' 

The Prince answered at once, ' I have heard so much of your 
beauty and kindness, that I would very much like to enter your 
service.' 

' Very well,' said the Mother Dragon ; ' but if you wish to enter 
my service, you must first lead my mare out to the meadow and 
look after her for three days ; but if you don't bring her home safely 
every evening, we wiU eat you up.* 

The Prince undertook the task and led the mare out to the 
meadow. But no sooner had they reached the grass than she 
vanished. The Prince sought for her in vain, and at last in despair 
sat down on a big stone and contemplated his sad fate. As he sat 
thus lost in thought, he noticed an eagle flying over his head. Then 
he suddenly bethought him of his little bell, and taking it out of his 
pocket he rang it once. In a moment he heard a rustling sound in 
the air beside him, and the King of the Eagles sank at his feet. 

' I know what you want of me,' the bird said. * You are looking 
for the Mother Dragon's mare who is galloping about among the 
clouds. I wiU summon all the eagles of the air together, and order 
them to catch the mare and bring her to you.' And with these 
words the King of the Eagles flew away. Towards evening the 
Prince heard a mighty rushing sound in the air, and when he looked 
up he saw thousands of eagles driving the mare before them. They 
sank at his feet on to the ground and gave the mare over to him. 
Then the Prince rode home to the old Mother Dragon, who was 
full of wonder when she saw him, and said, ' You have succeeded 



THE FLOWER QUEEN'S DAUGHTER 



195 



co-day in looking after my mare, and as a reward you shall come 
to my ball to-night.' She gave him at the same time a cloak made 
of copper, and led him to a big room where several young he-dragons 
and she-dragons were dancing together. Here, too, was the Flower 
Queen's beautiful daughter. Her dress was woven out of the most 
lovely flowers in the world, and her comploxion was like lilies and 




roses. As the Prince was dancing with her he managed to whisper 
in her car, 'I have come to set you free ! ' 

Then the beautiful girl said to him, ' If you succeed in bringing 
the mare back safely the third day, ask the Mother Dragon to give 
you a foai of the marc as a reward.' 

The ball came to an end at midnight, and early next morning 



196 THE FLOWER QUEEN'S DAUGHTER 

the Prince again led the Mother Dragon's mare out into the meadow. 
But again she vanished before his eyes. Then he took out his little 
bell and rang it twice. 

In a moment the King of the Foxes stood before him and said : 
* I know already what you want, and will summon all the foxes of 
the world together to find the mare who has hidden herself in a 
hill.' 

With these words the King of the Foxes disappeared, and in the 
evening inany thousand foxes brought the mare to the Prince. 

Then he rode home to the Mother Dragon, from whom he 
received this time a cloak made of silver, and again she led him to 
the ball-room. 

The Flower Queen's daughter was delighted to see him safe and 
sound, and when they were dancing together she whispered in his 
ear : ' If you succeed again to-morrow, wait for me with the foal 
in the meadow. After the ball we will fly away together.' 

On the third day the Prince led the mare to the meadow again ; 
but once more she vanished before his eyes. Then the Prince took 
out his little bell and rang it three times. 

In a moment the King of the Fishes appeared, and said to him : 
' I know quite well what yon want me to do, and I will summon 
all the fishes of the sea together, and tell them to bring you back 
the mare, who is hiding herself in a river.' 

Towards evening the mare was returned to him, and when he 
led her home to the Mother Dragon she said to him : 

' You are a brave youth, and I will make yon my body-servant. 
But what shall I give yon as a reward to begin with ? ' 

The Prince begged for a foal of the mare, which the Mother 
Dragon at once gave him, and over and above, a cloak made of 
gold, for she had fallen in love with him because he had praised 
her beauty. 

So in the evening he appeared at the ball in his golden cloak ; 
but before the entertainment was over he slipped away, and went 
straight to the stables, where he mounted his foal and rode out into 
the meadow to wait for the Flower Queen's daughter. Towards 
midnight the beautiful girl appeared, and placing her in front of 
him on his horse, the Prince and she flew like the wind till they 
reached the Flower Queen's dwelling. But the dragons had noticed 
their flight, and woke their brother out of his year's sleep. He 
flew into a terrible rage when he heard what had happened, and 
determined to lay siege to the Flower Queenls palace ; but the 



(^^^^^^-'^i;riwiiiiiiiinii^iiv a "'"" 




Digitized by Microsoft® 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE FLOWER QUEEN'S DAUGHTER 197 

Queen caused a forest of flowers as high as the sky to grow up 
round her dwelling, through which no one could force a way. 

When the Flower Queen heard that her daughter wanted to 
marry the Prince, she said to him : ' I will give my consent to your 
marriage gladly, but my daughter can only stay with you in 
summer. In winter, when everything is dead and the ground 
covered with snow, she must come and live with me in my palace 
underground,' The Prince consented to this, and led his beautiful 
bride home, where the wedding was held with great pomp and 
magnificence. The young couple lived happily together till winter 
came, when the Flower Queen's daughter departed and went home 
to her mother. In summer she returned to her husband, and their 
life of joy and happiness began again, and lasted till the approach 
of winter, when the Flower Queen's daughter went back again to 
her mother. This coming and going continued all her life long, 
and in spite of it they always lived happily together. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 

Y. 



193 



THE FLYING SHIP 1 



ONCE upon a time there lived an old couple who had three sons; 
the two elder were clever, but the third was a regular dunce. 
The clever sons were very fond of their mother, gave her good 
clothes, and always spoke pleasantly to her ; but the youngest was 
always getting in her way, and she had no patience with him. Now, 
one day it was announced in the village that the King had issued a 
decree, offering his daughter, the Princess, in marriage to whoever 
should build a ship that could fly. Immediately the two elder 
brothers determined to try their luck, and asked their parents* 
blessing. So the old mother smartened up their clothes, and gave 
them a store of provisions for their journey, not forgetting to add a 
bottle of brandy. When they had gone the poor Simpleton began 
to tease his mother to smarten him up and let him start off. 

* What would become of a dolt like you ? ' she answered. 
' Why, you would be eaten up by wolves.' 

But the foolish youth kept repeating, ( I will go, I will go, I 
will go!' 

Seeing that she could do nothing with him, the mother gave 
him a crust of bread and a bottle of water, and took no farther 
heed of him. 

So the Simpleton set off on his way. When he had gone a 
short distance he met a little old manikin. They greeted one 
another, and the manikin asked him where he was going. 

1 I am off to the King's Court,' he answered. ( He has promised 
to give his daughter to whoever can make a flying ship.' 

* And can you make such a ship ? ' 
'NotL' 

' Then why in the world are you going ? ' 

1 Can't tell,' replied the Simpleton. 

< Well, if that is the case,' said the manikin, ( sit down beside 

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THE FLYING SHIP 



199 



me ; we can rest for a little and have something to eat. Give me 
what you have got in your satchel.' 

Now, the poor Simpleton was ashamed to show what was in it. 
However, he thought it best not to make a fuss, so he opened the 
satchel, and could scarcely believe his own eyes, for, instead of the 
hard crust, he saw two beautiful fresh rolls and some cold meat. 
He shared them with the manikin, who licked his lips and said : 

* Now, go into that wood, and stop in front of the first tree, bow 
three times, and then strike the tree with your axe, fall on your 
knees on the ground, with your face on the earth, and remain there 




till you are raised up. You will then find a ship at your side, step 
into it and ily to tho King's Palace. If yon meet anyone on tho 
way, take him with you.' 

The Simpleton thanked the manikin very kin dry, bado him 
farewell, and went into tho road. "When ho got io tho first tree ho 
stopped in front of it, did everything just as he had been told, and, 
kneeling on tho ground with his face to tho earth, fell asleep. After 
a little time ho was aroused ; he awoke and, rubbing his eyes, saw 
a ready-made ship at his side, and at onco got into it. And tho 
sliip rose and rose,, and in another minute was flying through tho 
air, when the Simpleton, who was on the look-out, cast his eyes 

Q2 



200 THE FLYING SHIP 

down to the earth and saw a man beneath him on the road, who 

was kneeling with his ear upon the damp ground. 

' Hallo ! ' he called out, ' what are you doing down there ? ' 

'I am listening to what is going on in the world,' replied the 

man. 

* Come with me in my ship,' said the Simpleton. 

So the man was only too glad, and got in beside him ; and the 
ship Hew, and flew, and flew through the air, till again from his 
outlook the Simpleton saw a man on the road below, who was 
hopping on one leg, while his other leg was tied up behind his ear. 
So he hailed him, calling out : 

4 Hallo ! what are you doing, hopping on one leg ? ' 

' I can't help it,' replied the man. ' I walk so fast that unless I 
tied up one leg I should be at the end of the earth in a bound.' 

{ Come with us on my ship,' he answered ; and the man made 
no objections, but joined them ; and the ship flew on, and on, and 
on, till suddenly the Simpleton, looking down on the road below, 
beheld a man aiming with a gun into the distance. 

* Hallo ! ' he shouted to him, ' what are you aiming at ? As far 
as eye can see, there is no bird in sight.' 

' What would be the good of my taking a near shot '? ' replied the 
man ; ' I can hit beast or bird at a hundred miles' distance. That 
is the kind of shot I enjoy.' 

' Come into the ship with us,' answered the Simpleton ; and the 
man was only too glad to join them, and he got in ; and the ship 
flew on, farther and farther, till again the Simpleton from his out- 
look saw a man on the road below, carrying on his back a basket 
full of bread. And he waved to him, calling out : 

' Hallo ! where are you going ? ' 

* To fetch bread for my breakfast.' 

' Bread ? Why, you have got a whole basket -load of it on your 
back.' 

{ That's nothing,' answered the man ; ' I should finish that in one 
mouthful.' 

' Come along with us in my ship, then.' 

And so the glutton joined the party, and the ship mounted again 
into the air, and flew up and onward, till the Simpleton from his 
outlook saw a man walking by the shore of a great lake, and 
evidently looking for something. 

' Hallo ! ' he cried to him,' what are you seeking ? 

' I want water to drink, I'm so thirsty,' replied the man. 



THE FLYING SHIP 



201 



' Well, there's a whole lake in front of you ; why don't you drink 
some of that ? ' 

' Do you call that enough ? ' answered the other. ' Why, I should 
drink it up in one gulp. 1 

' Well, come with us in the ship.' 

And so the mighty drinker was added to the company ; and the 
ship flew farther, and even farther, till again the Simpleton looked 




The comrades in the flying ship meet the drinker 

out, and this time he saw a man dragging a bundle of wood, walking 
through the forest beneath them. 

' Hallo ! ' he shouted to him, ' why are you carrying wood 
through a forest ? ' 

4 This is not common wood,' answered the other. 

' What sort of wood is it, then ? ' said the Simpleton. 

' If you throw it upon the ground,' said the man, ' it will bo 
changed into an -army ° f soldiers/ i^x-/^ 

< Come into the ship with us, then.* 



202 THE FLYING SHIP 

And so he too joined them ; and away the ship flew on, and on, 
and on, and once more the Simpleton looked out, and this time he 
saw a man carrying straw upon his back. 

' Hallo ! Where are you carrying that straw to ? ' 

' To the village,' said the man. 

' Do you mean to say there is no straw in the village ? ' 

1 Ah ! but this is quite a peculiar straw. If you strew it about 
even in the hottest summer the air at once becomes cold, and snow 
falls, and the people freeze.* 

Then the Simpleton asked him also to join them. 

At last the ship, with its strange crew, arrived at the King's 
Court. The King was having his dinner, but he at once despatched 
one of his courtiers to find out what the huge, strange new bird 
could be that had come flying through the air. The courtier peeped 
into the ship, and, seeing what it was, instantly went back to the King 
and told him that it was a flying ship, and that it was manned by 
a few peasants. 

Then the King remembered his royal oath ; but he made up his 
mind that he would never consent to let the Princess marry a poor 
peasant. So he thought and thought, and then said to himself: 

' I will give him some impossible tasks to perform ; that will be 
the best way of getting rid of him.' And he there and then decided 
to despatch one of his courtiers to the Simpleton, with the com- 
mand that he was to fetch the King the healing water from the 
world's end before he had finished his dinner. 

But while the King was still instructing the courtier exactly 
what he was to say, the first man of the ship's company, the one 
with the miraculous power of hearing, had overheard the King's 
words, and hastily reported them to the poor Simpleton. 

* Alas, alas ! ' he cried ; ' what am I to do now ? It would 
take me quite a year, possibly my whole life, to find the water.' 

' Never fear,' said his fleet-footed comrade, ' I will fetch what the 
King wants.' 

Just then the courtier arrived, bearing the King's command. 

' Tell his Majesty,' said the Simpleton, ' that his orders shall be 
obeyed ; ' and forthwith the swift runner unbound the foot that was 
strung up behind his ear and started off, and in less than no time 
had reached the world's end and drawn the healing water from 
the well. 

' Dear me,' he thought to himself, ' that's rather, tiring ! I'll just 
rest for a few minutes; it will bo some little time yet before the 



THE FLYING SHIP 203 

King has got to dessert.' So he threw himself down on the grass, 
and, as the sun was very dazzling, he closed his eyes, and in a few 
seconds had fallen sound asleep. 

In the meantime all the ship's crew were anxiously awaiting 
him ; the King's dinner would soon be finished, and their comrade 
had not yet retiuned. So the man with the marvellous quick 
hearing lay down and, putting his ear to the ground, listened. 

( That's a nice sort of fellow ! ' he suddenly exclaimed. * He's 
lying on the ground, snoring hard ! ' 

At this the marksman seized his gun, took aim, and fired in the 
direction of tho world's end, in order to awaken the sluggard. And 
a moment later the swift runner reappeared, and, stepping onboard 
the ship, handed the healing water to the Simpleton. So whilo 
the King was still sitting at table finishing his dinner news was 
brought to him that his orders had been obeyed to the letter. 

"What was to be done now ? The King determined to think of 
a still more impossible task. So he told another courtier to go to 
the Simpleton with the command that he and his comrades were 
instantly to eat up twelve oxen and twelve tons of bread. Onco 
more the sharp-eared comrade overheard the King's words whilo 
he was still talking to the courtier, and reported them to tho 
Simpleton. 

* Alas, alas ! ' he sighed ; ' what in the world shall I do ? Why, 
it would take us a year, possibly our whole lives, to eat up twelvo 
oxen and twelve tons of bread.' 

' Never fear,' said tho glutton. ' It will scarcely be enough for 
me, I'm so hungry.' 

So when tho courtier arrived with the royal message he was 
told to take back word to the King that his orders should bo obeyed. 
Then twelve roasted oxen and twelvo tons of bread were brought 
alongsido of tho ship, and at ono sitting tho glutton had devoured 
it all. 

'I call that a small meal,' ho said. *I wish they'd brought 
mo some more.' 

Next, tho King ordered that forty casks of wine, containing 
forty gallons each, were to bo drunk up on the spot by tho Simple- 
ton and his party. "When theso words were overheard by tho 
sharp-eared comrade and repeated to tho Simpleton, ho was in 
despair. 

'Alas, alas!' ho exclaimed; 'what is to bo. done? It would 
tako us a year, possibly our whole lives, to driirlc so much.' 



204 THE FLYING SHIP 

' Never fear,' said his thirsty comrade. ' I'll drink it all up at a 
gulp, see if I don't.' And sure enough, when the forty casks of 
wine containing forty gallons each were brought alongside of the 
ship, they disappeared down the thirsty comrade's throat in no time ; 
and when they were empty he remarked : 

' AYhy, I'm still thirsty. I should have been glad of two more 
casks.' 

Then the King took counsel with himself and sent an order to 
the Simpleton that he was to have a bath, in a bath-room at the 
royal palace, and after that the betrothal should take place. Now 
the bath-room was built of iron, and the King gave orders that it 
was to be heated to such a pitch that it would suffocate the Simple- 
ton. And so when the poor silly youth entered the room, he 
discovered that the iron walls were red hot. But, fortunately, his 
comrade with the straw on his back had entered behind him, and 
when the door was shut upon them he scattered the straw about, 
and suddenly the red-hot walls cooled down, and it became so very 
cold that the Simpleton could scarcely bear to take a bath, and all 
the water in the room froze. So the Simpleton climbed up upon 
the stove, and, wrapping himself up in the bath blankets, lay there 
the whole night. And in the morning when they opened the door 
there he lay sound and safe, singing cheerfully to himself. 

Now when this strange tale was told to the King he became 
quite sad, not knowing what he should do to get rid of so 
undesirable a son-in-law, when suddenly a brilliant idea occurred 
to him. 

' Tell the rascal to raise me an army, now at this instant ! ' he 
exclaimed to one of his com^tiers. * Inform him at once of this, my 
royal will.' And to himself he added, ' I think I shall do for him 
this time.' 

As on former occasions, the quick-eared comrade had overheard 
the King's command and repeated it to the Simpleton. 

( Alas, alas ! ' he groaned ; * now I am quite done for.' 

1 Not at all,' replied one of his comrades (the one who had 
dragged the bundle of wood through the forest). 'Have you quite 
forgotten me ? ' 

In the meantime the courtier, who had run all the way from the 
palace, reached the ship panting and breathless, and delivered the 
King's message. 

1 Good ! ' remarked the Simpleton. ' I will raise an army for the 
King,' and he drew himself up. ' But if, after that, the King refuses 



l>.,, r . ' , . 




SIMrLETQN'3 ARMY AITEAIig EiiFonn Tin: KINO. 



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THE FLYING SHIP 205 

to accept me as his son-in-law, I will wage war against him, and 
carry the Princess off by force.' 

During the night the Simpleton and his comrade went together 
into a big field, not forgetting to take the bundle of wood with them, 
which the man spread out in all directions — and in a moment a 
mighty army stood upon the spot, regiment on regiment of foot 
and horse soldiers; the bugles sounded and the drums beat, the 
chargers neighed, and their riders put then' lances in rest, and the 
soldiers presented arms. 

In the morning when the King awoke he was startled by these 
warlike sounds, the bugles and the drums, and the clatter of the 
horses, and the shouts of the soldiers. And, stepping to the win- 
dow, he saw the lances gleam in the sunlight and the armour and 
weapons glitter. And the proud monarch said to himself, ' I am 
powerless in comparison with this man.' So he sent him royal 
robes and costly jewels, and commanded him to come to the 
palace to be married to the Princess. And his son-in-law put on 
the royal robes, and he looked so grand and stately that it was 
impossible to recognise the poor Simpleton, so changed was he ; 
and the Princess fell in love with him as soon as ever she saw him. 

Never before had so grand a wedding been seen, and there was 
so much food and wine that even the glutton and the thirsty com- 
rade had enough to eat and drink. 



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206 



THE SNOW-DAUGHTEB AND THE FIRE-SON x 



rpHERE was once upon a time a man and his wife, and they had 
J- no children, which was a great grief to them. One winter's 
day, when the sun was shining brightly, the couple were standing 
outside their cottage, and the woman was looking at all the little 
icicles which hung from the roof. She sighed, and turning to her 
husband said, ' I wish I had as many children as there are icicles 
hanging there.' ' Nothing would please me more either,' replied 
her husband. Then a tiny icicle detached itself from the roof, and 
dropped into the woman's mouth, who swallowed it with a smile, 
and said, * Perhaps I shall give birth to a snow child now ! ' Her 
husband laughed at his wife's strange idea, and they went back into 
the house. 

But after a short time the woman gave birth to a little girl, 
who was as white as snow and as cold as ice. If they brought the 
child anywhere near the fire, it screamed loudly till they put it 
back into some cool place. The little maid throve wonderfully, and 
in a few months she could run about and speak. But she was not 
altogether easy to bring up, and gave her parents much trouble and 
anxiety, for all summer she insisted on spending in the cellar, and 
in the winter she would sleep outside in the snow, and the colder 
it was the happier she seemed to be. Her father and mother 
called her simply 4 Our Snow-daughter,' and this name stuck to her 
all her life. 

One day her parents sat by the fire, talking over the extra- 
ordinary behaviour of their daughter, who was disporting herself in 
the snowstorm that raged outside. The woman sighed deeply and 
said, ( I wish I had given birth to a Fire-son ! ' As she said these 
words, a spark from the big wood fire flew into the woman's lap, 
and she said with a laugh, ' Now perhaps I shall give birth to a Fire- 

1 From the Buko winder Tales and Legends. Von Wliolocki. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SNOW-DAUGHTEB AND THE FIRE- SON 207 

son ! ' The man laughed at his wife's words, and thought it was a 
good joke. But lie ceased to think it a joke when his wife shortly 
afterwards gave birth to a boy, who screamed lustily till he was put 
quite close to the fire, and who nearly yelled himself into a fit if 
the Snow-daughter came anywhere near him. The Snow-daughter 
herself avoided him as much as she could, and always crept into a 
corner as far away from him as possible. The parents called the 
boy simply ' Our Fire-son,' a name which stuck to him all his life. 
They had a great deal of trouble and worry with him too ; but he 
throve and grew very quickly, and before he was a year old he could 
run about and talk. He was as red as fire, and as hot to touch, 
and he always sat on the hearth quite close to the fire, and com- 
plained of the cold ; if his sister were in the room he almost crept into 
the flames, while the girl on her part always complained of the 
great heat if her brother were anywhere near. In summer the boy 
always lay out in the sun, while the girl hid herself in the cellar : 
so it happened that the brother and sister came very little into 
contact with each other — in fact, they carefully avoided it. 

Just as the girl grew up into a beautiful woman, her father and 
mother both died one after the other. Then the Fire-son, who 
had grown up in the meantime into a fine, strong young man, said 
to his sister, ' I am going out into the world, for what is the use 
of remaining on here ? ' 

' I shall go with you,' she answered, ' for, except you, I have no 
one in the world, and I have a feeling that if wo set out together 
we shall be lucky.' 

Tho Fire-son said, ' I love you with all my heart, but at the 
same time I always frcezo if you aro near mo, and you nearly dio 
of heat if T approach you! TTow shall we travel about together 
without being odious the one to the other ? ' 

' Don't worry about that,' roplied the girl, ' for I've thought it 
all over, and have sottled on a plan which will make us each ablo 
to bear with the other ! Sec, I have had a fur cloak made for each 
of us, and if we put them on I shall not feol the heat so much nor 
you the cold.' So they put on the fur cloaks, and set out cheerfully 
on their way, and for the first time in their lives quite happy in 
each other's company. 

For a long time the Fire-son and the Snow-daughter wandered 
through the world, and when at tho beginning of winter they came 
to a big wood they determined to stay there till spring. The Fire- 
son built himself it hut" where he always kept rip a huge fire, while 



208 THE SNOW-DAUGHTER AND THE FIBE-SON 

his sister with very few clothes on stayed outside night and day. 
Now it happened one day that the King of the land held a hunt in 
this wood, and saw the Snow- daughter wandering about in the 
open air. He wondered very much who the beautiful girl clad in 
such garments could be, and he stopped and spoke to her. He soon 
learnt that she could not stand heat, and that her brother could not 
endure cold. The King was so charmed by the Snow -daughter, 
that he asked her to be his wife. The girl consented, and the 
wedding was held with much state. The King had a huge house 
of ice made for his wife underground, so that even in summer it did 
not melt. But for his brother-in-law he had a house built with 
huge ovens all round it, that were kept heated all day and night. 
The Fire-son was delighted, but the perpetual heat in which he 
lived made his body so hot, that it was dangerous to go too close to 
him. 

One day the King gave a great feast, and asked his brother-in- 
law among the other guests. The Fire-son did not appear till 
everyone had assembled, and when he did, everyone fled outside to 
the open air, so intense was the heat he gave forth. Then the King 
was very angry and said, ' If I had known what a lot of trouble you 
would have been, I would never have taken you into my house.' 
Then the Fire -son replied with a laugh, * Don't be angry, dear 
brother ! I love heat and my sister loves cold — come here and let 
me embrace you, and then I'll go home at once. 1 And before the 
King had time to reply, the Fire-son seized him in a tight embrace. 
The King screamed aloud in agony, and when his wife, the Snow- 
daughter, who had taken refuge from her brother in the next room, 
hurried to him, the King lay dead on the ground burnt to a cinder. 
When the Snow-daughter saw this she turned on her brother and 
flew at him. Then a fight began, the like of which had never been 
seen on earth. When the people, attracted by the noise, hurried to 
the spot, they saw the Snow-daughter melting into water and the 
Fire -son burn to a cinder. And so ended the unhappy brother and 
sister. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



2oy 



THE STOBY OF KING FROST ] 



THERE was once upon a time a peasant- woman who had a 
daughter and a step-daughter. The daughter had her own 
way in everything, and whatever she did was right in her mother's 
eyes ; but the poor step-daughter had a hard time. Let her do what 
she would, she was always blamed, and got small thanks for all the 
trouble she took ; nothing was right, everything wrong ; and yet, if 
the truth were known, the girl was worth her weight in gold — she 
was so unselfish and good-hearted. But her step-mother did not 
like her, and the poor girl's days were spent in weeping ; for it was 
impossible to live peacefully with the woman. The wicked shrew 
was determined to get rid of the girl by fair means or foul, and 
kept saying to her father : ' Send her away, old man ; send her away — 
anywhere so that my eyes sha'n't be plagued any longer by the 
sight of her, or my ears tormented by the sound of her voice. 
Send her out into the fields, and let the cutting frost do for her.' 

In vain did the poor old father weep and implore her pity ; she 
was firm, and he dared not gainsay her. So he placed his daughter 
in a sledge, not even daring to give her a horse-cloth to keep her- 
self warm with, and drove her out on to the bare, open fields, where 
he kissed her and left her, driving home as fast as he could, that 
he might not witness her miserable death. 

Deserted by her father, the poor girl sat down under a fir-tree 
at the edge of the forest and began to weep silently. Suddenly 
she heard a faint sound : it was King Frost springing from tree to 
tree, and cracking his fingers as he went. At length he reached 
the fir-tree beneath which she was sitting, and with a crisp 
crackling sound he alighted beside her, and looked at her lovely 
face. 

* Well, maiden,' he snapped out, ' do you know who I am ? I am 
King Frost, Icing of the red-noses.' 

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V, K 



210 THE STOBY OF KING FROST 

1 All hail to you, great King ! ' answered the girl, in a gentle, 
trembling voice. { Have you come to take me ? ' 

4 Are you warm, maiden ? ' he replied. 

' Quite warm, King Frost,' she answered, though she shivered as 
she spoke. 

Then King Frost stooped down, and bent over the girl, and the 
crackling sound grew louder, and the air seemed to befall of knives 
and darts ; and again he asked : 

( Maiden, are you warm ? Are you warm, yon beautiful girl ? ' 

And though her breath was almost frozen on her lips, she 
whispered gently, ' Quite warm, King Frost,' 

Then King Frost gnashed his teeth, and cracked his fingers, and 
his eyes sparkled, and the crackling, crisp sound was louder than 
ever, and for the last time he asked her : 

* Maiden, are you still warm ? Are you still warm, little love ? ' 

And the poor girl was so stiff and numb that she could just 
gasp, * Still warm, King ! ' 

Now her gentle, courteous words and her uncomplaining ways 
touched King Frost, and he had pity on her, and he wrapped her 
up in furs, and covered her with blankets, and he fetched a great 
box, in which were beautiful jewels and a rich robe embroidered in 
gold and silver. And she put it on, and looked more lovely than 
ever, and King Frost stepped with her into his sledge, with sis 
white horses. 

In the meantime the wicked step-mother was waiting at home 
for news of the girl's death, and preparing pancakes for the funeral 
feast. And she said to her husband : ' Old man, you had better go 
out into the fields and find your daughter's body and bury her.' 
Just as the old man was leaving the house the little dog under the 
table began to bark, saying : 

* Your daughter shall live to be your delight ; 
Her daughter shall die this very night.' 

' Hold your tongue, you foolish beast ! ' scolded the woman. 
( There's a pancake for you, but you must say : 

" Her daughter shall have much silver and gold ; 
His daughter is frozen quite stiff and cold." ' 

But the doggie ate up the pancake and barked, saying : 
' His daughter shall wear a crown on her head ; 
Her daughter snail die unwooed, unwed.' 



THE STORY OF KING FBOST 



211 



Then tho old woman tried to coax the doggie with more pan- 
cakes and to terrify it with blows, but he barked on, always 
repeating the same words. And suddenly the door creaked and 
flew open, and a great heavy chest was pushed in, and behind it 
came the step-daughter, radiant and beautiful, in a dress all 
glittering with silver and gold. For a moment the step-mother's 
eyes were dazzled. Then she called to her husband : k Old man, yoke 




ny\lD£MgJ\HE6Y0U^AKn^ ^J 



the horses at once into tho sledge, and take my daughter to the 
same field and leave her on the same spot exactly ; ' and so tho 
old man took the girl and left her beneath the same treo where he 
had parted from his daughter. In a few minutes King Frost camo 
past, and, looking at the girl, he said : 

* Aro you warm, maiden ? ' 

4 What a blind old fool you must be to ask such atmestion ! ' she 



212 THE STOBY OF KING FBOST 

answered angrily. « Can't you see that my hands and feet are 
nearly frozen ? ' 

Then King Frost sprang to and fro in front of her, questioning 
her, and getting only rude, rough words in reply, till at last he got 
very angry, and cracked his fingers, and gnashed his teeth, and 
froze her to death. 

But in the hut her mother was waiting for her return, and as 
she grew impatient she said to her husband : ' Get out the horses, 
old man, to go and fetch her home ; but see that you are careful not 
to upset the sledge and lose the chest.' 

But the doggie beneath the table began to bark, saying : 

' Your daughter is frozen quite stiff and cold, 
And shall never have a chest full of gold.' 

' Don't tell such wicked lies ! ' scolded the woman. ' There's a 
cake for you ; now say : 

"Her daughter shall marry a mighty King." 

At that moment the door flew open, and she rushed out to meet 
her daughter, and as she took her frozen body in her arms she too 
was chilled to death. 



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213 



THE DEATH OF THE SUN-IIEBO ] 



MANY, many thousand years ago there lived a mighty King 
whom heaven had blessed with a clever and beautiful son. 
When he was only ten years old the boy was cleverer than all the 
King's counsellors put together, and when he was twenty he was 
the greatest hero in the whole kingdom. His father could not make 
enough of his son, and always had him clothed in golden garments 
which shone and sparkled like the sun ; and his mother gave him 
a white horse, which never slept, and which Hew like the wind. 
All the people in the land loved him dearly, and called him the 
Sun-Hero, for they did not think his like existed under the sun. 
Now it happened one night that both his parents had the same 
extraordinary dream. They dreamt that a girl all dressed in red 
had come to them and said : ' If you wish that your son should 
really become the Sun-Hero in deed and not only in name, let him 
go out into the world and search for the Tree of the Sun, and when 
he has found it, let him pluck a golden apple from it and bring it 
home.' 

When the King and Queen had each related their dreams to 
the other, they were much amazed that they should both have 
dreamt exactly the same about their son, and the King said to his 
wife, * This is clearly a sign from heaven that we should send our 
son out into the world in order that he may come homo tho great 
Sun-IIoro, as the lied Girl said, not only in name but in deed.' 

The Queen consented with many tears, and the King at once 
bade his son set forth in search of tho Tree of the Sun, from which 
he was to pluck a golden apple. The Frince was delighted at tho 
prospect, and set out on his travels that very day. 

For a long time he wandered all through tho world, and it was 
not till the ninety-ninth day after he started that he found an old 
man who was able to tell him where the Tree of the Sim grow. He 
followed his tfofftftfegfl lffi 6 tffi$bg&tt^ after an ° ther 

1 From the ISukowinaer Titles and Legends. Vou Wiiolocki. 



214 



THE DEATH OF THE SUN-HEBO 



ninety-nine days he arrived at a golden castle, which stood in the 
middle of a vast wilderness. He knocked at the door, which was 
opened noiselessly and by invisible hands. Finding no one about, 
the Prince rode on, and came to a great meadow, where the Sun- 
Tree grew. When he reached the tree he put out his hand to pick 
a golden apple; but all of a sudden the tree grew higher, so that 
he could not reach its fruit. Then he heard some one behind him 
laughing. Turning round, he saw the girl in red walking towards 
him, who addressed him in these words : 

' Po you really imagine, brave son of the earth, that you can 
pluck an apple so easily from the Tree of the Sun ? Before you 




can do that, you have a difficult task before you. You must guard 
the tree for nine days and nine nights from the ravages of two wild 
black wolves, who will try to harm it. Bo you think you can 
undertake this ? ' 

1 Yes,' answered the Sun-Hero, ' I will guard the Tree of the 
Sun nine days and nine nights.' 

Then the girl continued : « Remember, though, if you do not 
succeed the Sun will kill you. Now begin your watch.' 

With these words the Red Girl went back into the golden castle. 
She had hardly .left him when the two black wolves appeared : but 



THE DEATH OF THE SUN-HE JiO 215 

the Sun -Hero beat them off with his sword, and they retired, only, 
however, to reappear in a very short time. The Sun-Hero chased 
them away once more, but he had hardly sat down to rest when the 
two black wolves were on the scene again. This went on for seven 
days and nights, when the white horse, who had never done such a 
thing before, turned to the Sun-Hero and said in a hurnan voice : 
' Listen to what I am going to say. A Fairy gave me to your mother 
in order that I might be of service to you ; so let me tell yon, that 
if you go to sleep and let the wolves harm the tree, the Sun will 
surely kill you. The Fairy, foreseeing this, put everyone in tho 
world under a spell, which prevents their obeying the Sun's com- 
mand to take your life. But all the same, sho has forgotten one 
person, who will certainly kill you if you fall asleep and let the 
wolves damage the tree. So watch and keep the wolves away.' 

Then tho Sim-Hero strove with all his might and kept the black 
wolves at bay, and conquered his desire to sleep ; but on the eighth 
night his strength failed him, and he fell fast asleep. When he 
awoke a woman in black stood beside him, who said : ' You have 
fulfilled your task very badly, for you have let the two black wolves 
damage the Tree of the Sun. I am the mother of the Sun, and I 
command you to ride away from here at once, and 1 pronounce 
sentence of death upon you, for you proudly let yourself be called 
the Sim -Hero without having done anything to deserve the name.' 

The youth mounted his horse sadly, and rode home. The people 
all thronged round him on his return, anxious to hear his adven- 
tures, but he told them nothing, and only to his mother did he 
confide what had befallen him. But the old Queen laughed, and 
said to her son : ' Don't worry, my child ; you see, the Fairy has 
protected you so far, and the Sun has found no one to kill you. 
So cheer up and be happy.' 

After a time tho Prince forgot all about his adventure, and 
married a beautiful Princess, with whom he lived very happily for 
some time. But one day when ho was out hunting ho felt very 
thirsty, and coming to a stream ho stooped down to drink from it, 
and this caused his death, for a crab came swimming up, and with 
its claws toro out his tongue. He was carried homo in a dying 
condition, and as ho lay on his death-bed the black woman appeared 
and said : * So the Sim has, after all, found someone, who was not 
under tho Fairy's spell, who has caused your death. And a similar 
fate will overtake everyone under the Sun who wrongfully assumes 
a title to which lid 1 has no vigh^y Microsoft ® 



216 



THE WITCH 1 



ONCE upon a time there was a peasant whose wife died, leaving 
him with two children— twins — a boy and a girl. For some 
years the poor man lived on alone with the children, caring for 
them as best he could ; but everything in the house seemed to go 
wrong without a woman to look after it, and at last he made up his 
mind to marry again, feeling that a wife would bring peace and 
order to his household and take care of his motherless children. 
So he married, and in the following years several children were 
born to him ; but peace and order did not come to the household. 
For the step-mother was very cruel to the twins, and beat them, 
and half-starved them, and constantly drove them out of the house ; 
for her one idea was to get them out of the w T ay. All day she 
thought of nothing but how she should get rid of them ; and at last 
an evil idea came into her head, and she determined to send them 
out into the great gloomy wood where a wicked witch lived. And 
so one morning she spoke to them, saying: 

* You have been such good children that I am going to send you 
to visit my granny, who lives in a dear little hut in the wood. You 
will have to wait upon her and serve her, but you will be well 
rewarded, for she will give you the best of everything.' 

So the children left the house together ; and the little sister, who 
was very wise for her years, said to the brother : 

' We will first go and see our own dear grandmother, and tell 
her where our step-mother is sending us.' 

And when the grandmother heard where they were going, she 
cried and said : 

' You poor motherless children ! How I pity you ; and yet I can 
do nothing to help you ! Your step-mother is not sending you to 
her granny, but to a wicked witch who lives in that great gloomy 

wood, now ^mm&WrM^m^" n and kind to 

1 From the Kussian. 



THE WITCH 



217 



everyone, and never say a cross word to anyone, and never touch 
a crumb belonging to anyone else. Who knows if, after all, help 
may not be sent to you ? ' 

And she gave her grandchildren a bottle of milk and a piece of 
ham and a loaf of bread, and they set out for the great gloomy 
wood. When they reached it they saw in front of them, in the 
thickest of the trees, a queer little hut, and when they looked into 
it, there lay the witch, with her head on the threshold of tlie door, 
with one foot in one corner and the other in the other corner, and 
her knees cocked up, almost touching the ceiling. 

* Who's there? ' she snarled, in an awful voice, when she saw the 
children. 




And they answered civilly, though they were so terrified thai) 
they hid behind one another, and said : 

4 Good-morning, granny; our step-mother has sent us to wait 
upon you, and serve you.' 

1 Sec that yon do it well, then,' growled the witch. * If f am 
pleased with you, I'll reward you ; but if 1 am not, I'll put you in a 
pan and fry you in the oven — that's what I'll do with you, my 
pretty dears ! You have been gently rcarod, but you'll find my 
work hard enough. See if you don't.* 

And, so saying, she set the girl down to spin , yarn, and she gavo 
the boy a sieve iri which to carry Waterfront the well, and she her- 



218 THE WITCH 

self went out into the wood. Now, as the girl was sitting at her 
distaff, weeping bitterly because she coiild not spin, she heard the 
sound of hundreds of little feet, and from every hole and corner in 
the hut mice came pattering along the floor, squeaking and saying : 

' Little girl, why are your eyes so red ? 
If you want help, then give us some bread.' 

And the girl gave them the bread that her grandmother had 
given her. Then the mice told her that the witch had a cat, and 
the cat was very fond of ham ; if she would give the cat her ham, 
it would show her the way out of the wood, and in the meantime 
they would spin the yarn for her. So the girl set out to look for 
the cat, and, as she was hunting about, she met her brother, in great 
troiible because he could not carry water from the well in a sieve, 
as it came pouring out as fast as he put it in. Aud as she was trying 
to comfort him they heard a rustling of wings, and a flight of wrens 
alighted on the ground beside them. And the wrens said : 

4 Give us some crumbs, then you need not grieve. 
For you'll find that water will stay in the sieve.' 

Then the twins crumbled their bread on the ground, and the 
wrens pecked it, and chirruped and chirped. And when they had 
eaten the last crumb they told the boy to fill up the holes of the 
sieve with clay, and then to draw water from the well. So he did 
what they said, and carried the sieve full of water into the hut with- 
out spilling a drop. When they entered the hut the cat was curled 
up on the floor. So they stroked her, and fed her with ham, and 
said to her : 

* Pussy, grey pussy, tell us how we are to get away from the 
witch ? ' 

Then the cat thanked them for the ham, and gave them a pocket- 
handkerchief and a comb, and told them that when the witch 
pursued them, as she certainly would, all they had to do was to 
throw the handkerchief on the ground and run as fast as they could. 
As soon as the handkerchief touched the ground a deep, broad river 
woiild spring up, which would hinder the witch's progress. If she 
managed to get across it, they must throw the comb behind them 
and run for their lives, for where the comb fell a dense forest would 
start up, which would delay the witch so long that they would be 
able to get safely away. 



THE WITCH 219 

The cat had scarcely finished speaking when the witch returned 
to see if the children had fulfilled their tasks. 

' Well, you have done well enough for to-day,' she grumbled ; 
1 but to-morrow you'll have something more difficult to do, and if 
you don't do it well, you pampered brats, straight into the oven 
you go.' 

Half-dead with fright, and trembling in every limb, the poor 
children lay down to sleep on a heap of straw in the corner of the 
hut ; but they dared not close their eyes, and scarcely ventured to 
breathe. In the morning the witch gave the girl two pieces of linen 
to weave before night, and the boy a pile of wood to cut into chips. 
Then the witch left them to their tasks, and went out into the wood. 
As soon as she had gone out of sight the children took the comb and 
the handkerchief, and, taking one another by the hand, they started 
and ran, and ran, and ran. And first they met the watch- dog, who 
was going to leap on them and tear them to pieces ; but they threw 
the remains of their bread to him, and he ate them and wagged his tail. 
Then they were hindered by the birch-trees, whose branches almost 
put their eyes out. But the little sister tied the twigs together with 
a pieco of ribbon, and they got past safely, and, after running 
through the wood, came out on to the open fields. 

In the meantime in the hut the cat was busy weaving the linen 
and tangling the threads as it wove. And the witch returned to 
see how the children were getting on ; and she crept up to the 
window, and whispered : 

4 Are you weaving, my little dear ? ' 

' Yes, granny, I am weaving,' answered the cat. 

When the witch saw that tho children had escaped her, she was 
furious, and, hitting the cat with a porringer, she said : ' Why did 
you let tho children leave the hut ? Why did you not scratch their 
eyes out ? * 

But tho cat curled up its tail and put its back up, and answered : 
4 1 have served you all these years and you never even threw 
me a bone, but the dear children gave me their own piece of ham.' 

Then the witch was furious with the watch-dog and with the 
birch-trees, because they had let tho children pass. But tho dog 
answered : 

' I havo served you all these years and you never gave me so 
much as a hard crust, but tho dear children gave mo their own loaf 
of bread.' 

And the birch rustled its leaves, und said : ( I havo served you 



220 



THE WITCH 



longer than I can say, and yon never tied a bit of twine even round 
my branches ; and the dear children bound them up with their 
brightest ribbons.' 

So the witch saw there was no help to be got from her old 
servants, and that the best thing she could do was to mount on her 
broom and set off in pursuit of the children. And as the children 
ran they heard the sound of the broom sweeping the ground close 
behind them, so instantly they threw the handkerchief down over 
their shoulder, and in a moment a deep, broad river flowed behind 
them. 




The comb grows into a forest 



When the witch came up to it, it took her a long time before 
she found a place which she coiild ford over on her broom-stick ; 
but at last she got across, and continued the chase faster than 
before. And as the children ran they heard a sound, and the little 
sister put her ear to the ground, and heard the broom sweeping the 
earth close behind them ; so, quick as thought, she threw the comb 
down on the gronnd, and in an instant, as the cat had said, a dense 
forest sprung up, in which the roots and branches were so 
closely intertwined, that it was impossible to force a way through 
it. So when the witch came up to it- on her broom she found that 



THE WITCH 221 

there was nothing for it but to turn round and go back to her 
hut. 

But the twins ran straight on till they reached their own home. 
Then they told their father all that they had suffered, and he was 
so angry with their step-mother that he drove her out of the house, 
and never let her return ; but he and the children lived happily 
together ; and he took care of them himself, and never let a stranger 
come near them. 



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222 



THE HAZEL-NUT CHILD 1 



THERE was once upon a time a coirple who had no children, and 
they prayed Heaven every day to send them a child, though it 
were no bigger than a hazel-nut. At last Heaven heard their prayer 
and sent them a child exactly the size of a hazel-nut, and it never 
grew an inch. The parents were very devoted to the little creature, 
and nursed and tended it carefully. Their tiny son too was as 
clever as he could be, and so sharp and sensible that all the neigh- 
bours marvelled over the wise things he said and did. 

When the Hazel-nut child was fifteen years old, and was sitting 
one day in an egg-shell on the table beside his mother, she turned 
to him and said, ' You are now fifteen years old, and nothing can 
be done with you. "What do you intend to be ? ' 

* A messenger,' answered the Hazel-nut child. 

Then his mother burst out laughing and said, * What an idea ! 
You a messenger ! "Why, your little feet would take an hour to go 
the distance an ordinary person could do in a minute ! ' 

But the Hazel-nut child replied, ' Nevertheless I mean to be a 
messenger ! Just send me a message and you'll see that I shall be 
back in next to no time.' 

So his mother said, ' Very well, go to your aunt in the neighbouring 
village, and fetch me a comb.' The Hazel-nut child jumped quickly 
out of the egg-shell and ran out into the street. Here he found a 
man on horseback who was just setting out for the neighbouring 
village. He crept up the horse's leg, sat down under the saddle, and 
then began to pinch the horse and to prick it with a pin. The horse 
plunged and reared and then set off at a hard gallop, which it con- 
tinued in spite of its rider's efforts to stop it. When they reached 
the village, the Hazel-nut child left off pricking the horse, and the 
poor tired creature pursued its way at a snail's pace. The Hazel- 
nut child took advantage of this, and crept down the horse's leg; 

1 From the Bukowniaer. Yon Wliolocki. 



THE HAZEL-NUT CHILD 223 

then he ran to his aunt and asked her for a comb. On the way 
home he met another rider, and did the return journey in exactly 
the same way. When he handed his mother the comb that his 
aunt had given him, she was much amazed and asked him, ' But 
how did you manage to get back so quickly ? ' 

' Ah ! mother,' he replied, * you see I was quite right when I 
said I knew a messenger was the profession for me.' 

His father too possessed a horse which he often used to take out 
into the fields to graze. One day he took the Hazel-nut child with 
him. At midday the father turned to his small son and said, 
* Stay here and look after the horse. I must go home and give your 
mother a message, but I shall be back soon.' 

"When his father had gone, a robber passed by and saw the horse 
grazing without any one watching it, for of course he could not see 
the Hazel-nut child hidden in the grass. So he mounted the horse 
and rode away. But the Hazel-nut child, who was the most 
active little creature, climbed up the horse's tail and began to bite 
it on the back, enraging the creature to such an extent that it paid 
no attention to the direction the robber tried to make it go in, but 
galloped straight home. The father was much astonished when he 
saw a stranger riding his horse, but the Hazel-nut child climbed 
down quickly and told him all that had happened, and his father 
had the robber arrested at once and put into prison. 

One autumn when the Hazel-nut child was twenty years old he 
said to his parents : Farewell, my dear father and mother. I 
am going to set out into the world, and as soon as I have become 
rich I will return home to you.' 

The parents laughed at the little man's words, but did not 
believe him for a moment. Tn the evening the Hazel-nut child 
crept on to the roof, where some storks had built their nest. The 
storks were fast asleep, and he climbed on to the back of the father- 
stork and bound a silk cord round the joint of one of its wings, then 
he crept among its soft downy feathers and fell asleep. 

The next morning the storks flew towards the south, for 
winter was approaching. The Hazel-nut child flew through the air 
on the stork's back, and when he wanted to rest ho bound his siD* cord 
on to the joint of the bird's other wing, so that it could not fly any 
farther. In this way he reached the country of the black people, 
where the storks took up their abode close to the capital. When the 
people saw the HazeL-nut child they wcro much astonished, and 
took him with the stork to the Kiug of the country. The King was 



224 



THE HAZEL-NUT CHILD 



delighted with the little creature and kept him always beside him, 
and he soon grew so fond of the little man that he gave him a 
diamond four times as big as himself. The Hazel-nut child fastened 
the diamond firmly under the stork's neck with a ribbon, and when 
he saw that the other storks were getting ready for their northern 
flight, he untied the silk cord from his stork's wings, and away they 
went, getting nearer home every minute. At length the Hazel-nnt 




the &hc\ King's Q[f t : 

child came to his native village ; then he undid the ribbon from the 
stork's neck and the diamond fell to the ground ; he covered it first 
with sand and stones, and then ran to get his parents, so that they 
might carry the treasure home, for he himself was not able to lift 
the great diamond. 

So the Hazel-nut child and his parents lived in happiness and 
prosperity after this till they died. 



225 



THE STOEY OF 
BIG KLAUS AND LITTLE KLAUS 



IN a certain village there lived two people who had both the same 
name. Both were called Klaus, but one owned four horses 
and the other only one. In order to distinguish the one from the 
other, the one who had four horses was called Big Klaus, and the 
one who had only one horse, Little Klaus. Now you shall hear 
what befell them both, for this is a true story. 

The whole week through Little Klaus had to plough for Big 
Klaus, and lend him his one horse ; then Big Klaus lent him his 
four horses, but only once a week, and that was on Sunday. Hurrah ! 
how loudly Little Klaus cracked his whip over all the five horses I 
for they were indeed as good as his on this one day. The sun shone 
brightly, and all the bells in the church-towers were pealing ; the 
people were dressed in their best clothes, and were going to church, 
with their hymn-books under their arms, to hear the minister 
preach. They saw Little Klaus ploughing with the live horses ; 
but he was so happy that he kept on cracking his whip, and calling 
out ' Gee-up, my five horses ! ' 

' You mustn't say that,' said Big Klaus. ' Only one horse is 
yours.' 

But as soon as someone else was going by Little Klaus forgot 
that he must not say it, and called out * Gee-up, my five horses 1 ' 

* Now yon had better stop that,' said Big Klaus, ' for if you say 
it once more I will givo your horse such a crack on the head that 
it will drop down dead on the spot ! ' 

4 1 really won't say it again ! ' said Little Klaus. But as soon 
as more people passed by, and nodded him good-morning, ho 
became so happy in thinking how well it looked to have five horses 
ploughing his field that, cracking his whip, ho called out • Gee-up, 

my five horses Digitized by Microsoft <i 

s 

V. 



226 THE STOBY OF BIG KLAUS 

' I'll see to your horses ! * said Big Klaus ; and, seizing an iron 
bar, he strnck Little Klaus' one horse such a blow on the head 
that it fell down and died on the spot. 

' Alas ! Now I have no horse ! ' said Little Klaus, beginning to 
cry. Then he flayed the skin off his horse, dried it, and put it in a 
sack, which he threw over his shoulder, and went into the town to 
sell it. He had a long way to go, and had to pass through a great 
dark forest. A dreadful storm came on, in which he lost his way, 
and before he could get on to the right road night came on, and it 
was impossible to reach the town that evening. 

Eight in front of him was a large farm-house. The window- 
shutters were closed, but the light came through the chinks. ' I 
should very much like to be allowed to spend the night there,' 
thought Little Klaus ; and he went and knocked at the door. The 
farmer's wife opened it, but when she heard what he wanted she 
told him to go away ; her husband was not at home, and she took 
in no strangers. 

* Well, I must lie down outside,' said Little Klaus ; and the 
farmer's wife shut the door in his face. Close by stood a large hay- 
stack, and between it and the house a little out-house, covered with 
a flat thatched roof. 

'I can lie down there,' thought Little Klaus, looking at the roof ; 
' it will make a splendid bed, if only the stork won't fly down and 
bite my legs.' For a live stork was standing on the roof, where it 
had its nest. So Little Klaus crept up into the out-house, where he 
lay down, and made himself comfortable for the night. The 
wooden shutters over the windows were not shut at the top, and he 
could just see into the room. 

There stood a large table, spread with wine and roast meat and 
a beautiful fish. The farmer's wife and the sexton sat at the table, 
but there was no one else. She was filling up his glass, while he 
stuck his fork into the fish which was his favourite dish. 

' If one could only get some of that ! ' thought Little Klaus, 
stretching his head towards the window. Ah, what delicious cakes 
he saw standing there ! It ivas a feast ! 

Then he heard someone riding along the road towards the house. 
It was the farmer coming home. He was a very worthy man ; but 
he had one great peculiarity — namely, that he could not bear to see 
a sexton. If he saw one he was made quite mad. That was why the 
sexton had gone to say good-day to the farmer's wife when he knew 
that her husband was not at home, and the good woman therefore 




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s2 



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AND LITTLE KLAUS 227 

put in front of him the best food she had. But when they heard 
the farmer corning they were frightened, and the farmer's wife 
begged the sexton to creep into a great empty chest. He did so, 
as he knew the poor man could not bear to see a sexton. The wife 
hastily hid all the beautiful food and the wine in her oven ; for if 
her husband had seen it, he would have been sure to ask what it 
all meant. 

1 Oh, dear ! oh, dear ! ' groaned Little Klaus up in the shed, when 
he saw the good food disappearing. 

1 Is anybody up there ? ' asked the farmer, catching sight of 
Little Klaus. ' Why are you lying there ? Come with me into 
the house.' 

Then Little Klaus told him how he had lost his way, and begged 
to be allowed to spend the night there. 

* Yes, certainly,' said the farmer ; ' but we must first have some- 
thing to cat ! ' 

The wife received them both very kindly, spread a long table, 
and gave them a large plate of porridge. The farmer was hungry, 
and ate with a good appetite ; but Little Klaus could not help 
thinking of the delicious dishes of fish and roast meats and cakes 
which he knew were in the oven. Under the table at his feet he 
had laid the sack with the horse-skin in it, for, as we know, he was 
going to the town to sell it. The porridge did not taste good to 
him, so he trod upon his sack, and the dry skin in the sack squeaked 
loudly. 

1 Hush ! ' said Little Klaus to his sack, at the same time treading 
on it again so that it squeaked even louder than before. 

'Hullo ! what have yon got in your sack ? ' asked the fanner. 

1 Oh, it is a wizard ! ' said Little Klaus. ' He says we should 
not eat porridge, for he has conjured the whole oven full of roast 
meats and fish and cakes.' 

1 Goodness me ! ' said the farmer ; and opening the oven ho saw all 
the delicious, tempting dishes his wife had hidden there, but which 
he now believed the wizard in the sack had conjured up for them. 
The wife could say nothing, but she put the food at once on the 
table, and they ate the fish, the roast meat, and the cakes. Little 
Klaus now trod again on his sack, so that the skin squeaked. 

' What does ho say now ? ' asked the firmer. 

1 He says,' replied Little Klaus, ■ that he has also conjured up 
for us three bottles of wino ; they arc standing in. the corner bv tho 

ovcni* uigmzed by Imcrosdmw 



228 THE STORY OF BIG KLAUS 

The wife had to fetch the wine which she had hidden, and the 
farmer drank and grew very merry. He would very much like to 
have had such a wizard as Little Klaus had in the sack. 

* Can he conjure up the Devil ? ' asked the farmer. ' I should 
like to see him very much, for I feel just now in very good 
spirits ! ' 

( Yes,' said Little Klaus ; ' my wizard can do everything that 
I ask. Isn't that true ? ' he asked, treading on the sack so that it 
squeaked. 'Do you hear? He says "Yes;" but that the Devil 
looks so ugly that we should not like to see him.' 

' Oh ! I'm not at all afraid. What does he look like ? ' 

' He will show himself in the shape of a sexton ! ' 

' I say ! ' said the farmer, ' he must be ugly ! You must know 
that I can't bear to look at a sexton ! But it doesn't matter. I 
know that it is the Devil, and I sha'n't mind ! I feel up to it now. 
But he must not come too near me ! ' 

'I must ask my wizard,' said Little Klaus, treading on the sack 
and putting his ear to it. 

1 What does he say ? ' 

' He says you can open the chest in the corner there, and you 
will see the Devil squatting inside it ; but you must hold the lid so 
that he shall not escape.' 

* Will you help me to hold him ? ' begged the farmer, going 
towards the chest where his wife had hidden the real sexton, who 
was sitting inside in a terrible fright. The farmer opened the lid a 
little way, and saw him inside. 

1 Ugh ! ' he shrieked, springing back. ' Yes, now I have seen 
him ; he looked just like our sexton. Oh, it was horrid ! ' 

So he had to drink again, and they drank till far on into the 
night. 

* You must sell me the wizard,' said the farmer. ' Ask any- 
thing you like ! I will pay you down a bushelful of money on the 
spot.' 

( No, I really can't,' said Little Klaus. ' Just think how many 
things I can get from this wizard ! ' 

' Ah ! I should like to have him so much ! ' said the farmer, 
begging very hard. 

' Well ! ' said Little Klaus at last, ' as you have been so good as 
to give me shelter to-night, I will sell him. You shall have the 
Wizard for a bushel of money, but I must have full measure.' 

* That you shall,' said the farmer. ' But you must take the 



AND LITTLE KLAUS 



229 



chest with you. I won't keep it another hour in the house. Who 
knows that he isn't in there still ? ' 

Little Klaus gavo the fanner his sack with the dry skin, and got 
instead a good bu shelf ul of money. The farmer also gave him a 
wheelbarrow to earry away bis money and the chest. ' Farewell,' 
said Little Klaus ; and away he went with his money and the big 
chest, wherein sat the sexton. 

On the other side of the wood was a large deep river. The water 
flowed so rapidly that you could scarcely swim against the stream. 




--THETAIUnER-THINlCS-HE-SEES-THE-DEVlL-— 
■1N-TUL CHESTC^K* 

A great new bridge had been built over it, on the middle of which 
Littlo Klaus stopped, and said aloud so that tho soxton might 
hear : 

• Now, what am I to do with this stupid chest ? It is as heavy 
as if it were filled with stones ! I shall only be tired, dragging it 
along ; I will throw it into the river. If it swims home to mc, well 
and good ; and if it doesn't, it's no matter.' 

Then he took the chest with one hand and lifted it up a little, 
as if he were going; to throw it into the water. 



230 THE STORY OF BIG KLAUS 

* No, don't do that ! ' called out the sexton in the chest. * Let 
me get out first ! ' 

' Oh, oh ! ' said Little Klaus, pretending that he was afraid. 
* He is still in there ! I must throw him quickly into the water to 
drown him ! ' 

1 Oh ! no, no ! ' cried the sexton. ' I will give you a whole bushel- 
ful of money if you will let me go ! ' 

' Ah, that's quite another thing ! ' said Little Klaus, opening 
the chest. The sexton crept out very quickly, pushed the empty 
chest into the water and went to his house, where he gave Little 
Klaus a bushel of money. One he had had already from the farmer, 
and now he had his wheelbarrow full of money. 

1 Well, I have got a good price for the horse ! ' said he to him- 
self when he shook all his money out in a heap in his room. 
' This will put Big Klaus in a rage when he hears how rich I have 
become through my one horse ; but I won't tell him just yet ! ' 

So he sent a boy to Big Klaus to borrow a bushel measure from 
him. 

4 Now what can he want with it ? ' thought Big Klaus ; and he 
smeared some tar at the bottom, so that of whatever was measured 
a little should remain in it. And this is just what happened ; for 
when he got his measure back, three new silver five-shilling pieces 
were sticking to it. 

What does this mean ? ' said Big Klaus, and he ran off at once 
to Little Klaus. 

' Where did you get so much money from ? ' 

' Oh, that was from my horse -skin. I sold it yesterday evening.' 

1 That's certainly a good price ! ' said Big Klaus ; and running 
home in great haste, he took an axe, knocked all his four horses on 
the head, skinned them, and went into the town. 

' Skins ! skins ! Who will buy skins ? ' he cried through the 
streets. 

All the shoemakers and tanners came running to ask him what 
he wanted for them. ' A bushel of money for each,' said Big 
Klaus. 

' Are you mad ? ' they all exclaimed. ' Do you think we have 
money by the bushel ? ' 

1 Skins ! skins ! Who will buy skins ? ' he cried again, and to 
all who asked him what they cost, he answered, 'A bushel of 
money.* 

( He is making game of us,' they said; and the shoemakers 



AND LITTLE KLAUS 231 

seized their yard measures and the tanners their leathern aprons 
and they gave Big Klaus a good beating. ' Skins ! skins ! ' they 
cried mockingly; yes, we will tan your skin for you ! Out of the 
town with him ! * they shouted ; and Big Klaus had to hurry off as 
quickly as he could, if he wanted to save his life. 

' Alia ! ' said he when he came home, ' Little Klaus shall pay 
dearly for this. I will kill him ! ' 



y-fZf^ 




The shoemakers and tanners drive Big Klaus out of the town 

Little Klaus' grandmother had jnst died. Though she had 
been very unkind to him, ho was very much distressed, and ho 
took the dead woman and laid her in his warm hed to try if ho 
could not bring her back to life. There she lay the whole night, 
while ho sat in the corner and slept on a chair, which ho had often 
done before. And in the night as he sat there the door opened, and 
Big Klaus came in with his axe. ITo knew quite well where Little 
Klans's bed stood, and going up to it he fit-rack thtf>randmother on 
the head just where he thought Little Klaus would be. ' There ! ' 



232 THE STORY OF BIG KLAUS 

said he. ' Now you won't get the best of rne again ! ' And he went 
home. 

' What a very wicked man ! ' thought Little Klaus. ' He was 
going to kill me ! It was a good thing for my grandmother that 
she was dead already, or else he would have killed her ! ' 

Then he dressed his grandmother in her Sunday clothes, bor- 
rowed a horse from his neighbour, harnessed the cart to it, sat his 
grandmother on the back seat so that she could not fall out when 
he drove, and away they went. When the sun rose they were in 
front of a large inn. Little Klaus got down, and went in to get 
something to drink. The host was very rich. He was a very 
worthy but hot-tempered man. 

' Good morning ! ' said he to Little Klaus. ' You are early on 
the road.' 

' Yes,' said Little Klaus. ' I am going to the town with my 
grandmother. She is sitting outside in the cart ; I cannot bring 
her in. Will you not give her a glass of mead ? But you will have 
to speak loud, for she is very hard of hearing.' 

* Oh yes, certainly I will ! ' said the host ; and, pouring out a 
large glass of mead, he took it out to the dead grandmother, who 
was sitting upright in the cart. 

' Here is a glass of mead from your son,' said the host. But the 
dead woman did not answer a word, and sat still. 'Don't you 
hear ? ' cried the host as loud as he could. ' Here is a glass of mead 
from your son ! ' 

Then he shouted the same thing again, and yet again, but she 
never moved in her place ; and at last he grew angry, threw the 
glass in her face, so that she fell back into the cart, for she was not 
tied in her place. 

' Hullo 1 ' cried Little Klaus, running out of the door, and seizing 
the host by the throat. ' You have killed my grandmother ! Look ! 
there is a great hole in her forehead ! ' 

' Oh, what a misfortune ! ' cried the host, wringing his hands. 
' It all comes from my hot temper ! Dear Little Klaus ! I will 
give you a bushel of money, and will bury your grandmother as if 
she were my own ; only don't tell about it, or I shall have my head 
cut off, and that would be very uncomfortable. 1 

So Little Klaus got a bushel of money, and the host buried his 
grandmother as if she had been his own. 

Now when Little Klaus again reached home with so much 
money he sent his boy to Big Klaus to borrow his bushel measure. 



AND LITTLE KLAUS 233 

' What's this ? ' said Big Klaus. ' Didn't I kill him ? I must see 
to this myself! * 

So he went himself to Little Klaus with the measure. 

1 Well, now, where did you get all this money ? * asked he, opening 
his eyes at the heap. 

' You killed my grandmother — not me,' said Little Klaus. ' I 
sold her, and got a bushel of money for her.' 

' That is indeed a good price ! ' said Big Klaus ; and, hurrying 
home, he took an axe and killed his grandmother, laid her in the 
cart, and drove off to the apothecary's, and asked whether he 
wanted to buy a dead body. 

' Who is it, and how did yon get it ? ' asked the apothecary. 

' It is my grandmother,' said Big Klaus. ' I killed her in order 
to get a bushel of money.' 

' You are mad ! ' said the apothecary. ' Don't mention such 
things, or you will lose your head 1 ' And he began to tell him 
what a dreadful thing he had done, and what a wicked man he was, 
and that he ought to be punished ; till Big Klaus was so frightened 
that he jumped into the cart and drove home as hard as he could. 
The apothecary and all the people thought he must bemad, so they 
let him go. 

' Yon shall pay for this I ' said Big Klaus as he drove home. 
'Yon shall pay for this dearly, Little Klaus ! ' 

So as soon as he got homo he took the largest sack he could 
find, and went to Little Klaus and said: 'You have fooled mo 
again ! First I killed my horses, then my grandmother ! It is all 
your fault ; but you sha'n't do it again ! ' And he seized Little Klaus, 
pushed him in the sack, threw it over his shoulder, crying out 
' Now I am going to drown you 1 ' 

He had to go a long way before he came to the river, and Little 
Klaus was not very light. The road passed by the church ; the 
organ was sounding, and the people were Binging most beautifully. 
Big Klaus put down the sack with Little Klaus in it by the church- 
door, and thought that he might as well go in and hear a psalm 
before going on farther. Little Klaus could not get out, and every- 
body was in church ; so he went in. 

' Oh, dear 1 oh, dear ! ' groaned Little Klaus in the sack, twisting 
and turning himself. But he could not undo the string. 

There came by an old, old shepherd, with snow-white hair and 
a long staff in his hand. lie was driving a herd of cows and oxen. 
These pushed against the sack so that it was overturned. 



234 THE STORY OF BIG KLAUS 

1 Alas ! ' moaned Little Klaus, ' I am so young and yet I must 
die !' 

'And I, poor man,' said the cattle-driver, ' I im so old and yet 
I cannot die ! ' 

* Open the sack,' called out Little Klaus ; ' creep in here instead 
of me, and you will die in a moment ! ' 

* I will gladly do that,' said the cattle -driver ; and he opened the 
sack, and Little Klaus struggled out at once. 




f 3aid v UttkK|aais .j 



( You will take care of the cattle, won't you ? ' asked the old 
man, creeping into the sack, which Little Klaus fastened up and 
then went on w T ith the cows and oxen. Soon after Big Klaus came 
out of the church, and taking up the sack on his shoulders it 
seemed to him as if it had become lighter ; for the old cattle-driver 
was not half as heavy as Little Klaus. 



AND LITTLE KLAUS 235 

* How easy he is to carry now ! That must be because I heard 
part of the service.' 

So he went to the river, which was deep and broad, threw in 

the sack with the old driver, and called after it, for he thought 

Little Klaus was inside : 

1 Down yon go ! Yon won't mock me any more now ! ' 

Then he went home ; but when he came to the cross-roads, there 

he met Little Klaus, who was driving his cattle. 

' What's this ? ' said Big Klaus. ' Haven't I drowned you ? ' 
' Yes,' replied Little Klaus ; * you threw me into the river a good 

half- hour ago ! ' 

' But how did you get those splendid cattle ? ' asked Big Klaus. 

* They are sea-cattle ! ' said Little Klaus, * I will tell you the 
whole story, and I thank you for having drowned me, because now 
I am on dry land and really rich ! How frightened I was when I 
was in the sack ! How the wind whistled in my ears as you threw 
me from the bridge into the cold water ! I sank at onee to the 
bottom ; but I did not hurt myself, for underneath was growing the 
most beautiful soft grass. I fell on this, and immediately the sack 
opened ; the loveliest maiden in snow-white garments, with a green 
garland round her wet hair, took me by the hand, and said, " Are 
you Little Klaus ? Here-are some cattle for you to begin with, and 
a mile farther down the road there is another herd, which [ will 
give you as a present ! " Now I saw that the river was a great high- 
road for the sea-people. Along it they travel underneath from the 
sea to the land till the river ends. It was so beautiful, full of 
flowers and fresh grass ; the fishes which were swimming in tho 
water shot past my ears as the birds do hero in the air. "What 
lovely people there were, and what fine cattle were grazing in the 
ditches and dykes ! ' 

* But why did you come up to us again ? ' asked Big Klaus, ' I 
should not have done so, if it is so beautiful down below ! ' 

' Oh ! ' said Little Klaus, * that was just so politic of me. You 
heard what I told yon, that the sea-maiden said to me a mile 
farther along the road — and by the road she meant the river, for 
she can go by no other way — there was another herd of cattle 
waiting for me. But I know what windings the riv&r makes, now 
here, now there, so that it is a long way round. Therefore it makes 
it much shorter if one comes on the land and drives across the 
field to the river. Thus I have spared myself quite, half a mile, and 
have come much quicker to nty sea-cattlo I ' 



23G THE STOBY OF BIG KLAUS AND LITTLE KLAUS 

* Oh, you're a lucky fellow ! ' said Big Klaus. ' Do you think I 
should also get some cattle if I went to the bottom of the river ? ' 

' Oh, yes ! I think so,' said Little Klaus. ' But I can't carry 
you in a sack to the river ; you are too heavy for me ! If you like 
to go there yourself and then creep into the sack, I will throw you 
in with the greatest of pleasure.' 

I Thank you,' said Big Klaus ; ' but if I don't get any sea-cattle 
when I come there, you will have a good hiding, mind ! ' 

' Oh, no ! Don't be so hard on me ! ' Then they went to the river. 
When the cattle, which were thirsty, caught sight of the water, they 
ran as quickly as they could to drink. 

' Look how they are running! ' said Little Klaus. ' They want 
to go to the bottom again ! ' 

* Yes ; but help me first,' said Big Klaus, ' or else you shall have 
a beating ! ' 

And so he crept into the large sack, which was lying on the 
back of one of the oxen. ' Put a stone in, for I am afraid I may not 
reach the bottom,' said Big Klaus. 

* It goes all right ! ' said Little Klaus ; but still he laid a big stone 
in the sack, fastened it up tight, and then pushed it in. Plump ! 
there was Big Klaus in the water, and he sank like lead to the 
bottom. 

I I doubt if he will find any cattle 1 ' said Little Klaus as he 
drove his own home. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



237 



PBINGE BING 1 



ONCE upon a time there was a King and his Qncen in their 
kingdom. They had one daughter, who was called Ingiborg, 
and one son, whose name was Ring. lie was less fond of ad- 
ventures than men of rank usually were in those days, and was not 
famous for strength or feats of arms. When he was twelve years 
old, one fine winter day he rode into the forest along with his men 
to enjoy himself. They went on a long way, until they caught 
sight of a hind with a gold ring on its horns. The Prince was 
eager to catch it, if possible, so they gave chase and rode on without 
stopping until all the horses began to founder beneath them. At 
last the Prince's horse gave way too, and then there came over 
them a darkness so black that they could no longer see the hind. 
By this time they wero far away from any house, and thought it 
was high time to be making their way home again, but they found 
they had got lost now. At first they all kept together, but soon 
each began to think that ho knew the right way best ; so they 
separated, and all went in different directions. 

The Prince, too, had got lost like the rest, and wandered on for a 
time until ho came to a little clearing in the forest not far from the 
sea, where he saw a woman sitting on a chair and a big barrel 
standing beside her. The Prince went up to her and saluted her 
politely, and she received him very graciously. He looked down 
into the barrel then, and saw lying at the bottom an unusually 
beautiful gold ring, which pleased him so much that ho could not 
take his eyes off it. The woman saw this, and said that ho might 
have it if he would take the trouble to get it ; for which the Prince 
thanked her, and said it was at least worth trying. So he leaned 
over into the barrel, which did not seem very deep, and thought ho 
would easily reach the ring ; but tho more he stretched down after 
it tho deeper grew, tho barrel. As lie was thus bending down into 
1 1 roui the Icelandic. 



230 



PBINCE RING 



it the woman suddenly rose up and pushed him in head first, 
saying that now he could take up his quarters there. Then she 
fixed the top on the barrel and threw it out into the sea. 

The Prince thought himself in a bad plight now, as he felt the 
barrel floating out from the land and tossing about on the waves. 
How many days he spent thus he could not tell, but at last he felt 




usheg^PnriceXinc; into the Cajsk^ 



that the barrel was knocking against rocks, at which he was a 
little cheered, thinking it was probably land and not merely a reef 
in the sea. Being something of a swimmer, he at last made up his 
mind to kick the bottom out of the barrel, and having done so he 
was able to get on shore, for the rocks by the sea were smooth and 
level ; but overhead there were high cliffs. It seemed difficult to 



PRINCE RING 239 

get up these, but he went along the foot of them for a little, till at 
last he tried to climb up, which at last he did. 

Having got to the top, he looked round about him and saw that 
he was on an island, which was covered with forest, with apples 
growing, and altogether pleasant as far as the land was concerned. 
After he had been there several days, he one day heard a great 
noise in the forest, which made him terribly afraid, so that he ran 
to hide himself among the trees. Then he saw a Giant approaching, 
dragging a sledge loaded with wood, and making straight for him, 
so that he could see nothing for it but to lie down just where he 
was. AVhen the Giant came across him, he stood still and looked 
at the Prince for a little ; then he took him up in his arms and 
carried him home to his house, and was exceedingly kind to him. 
He gave him to his wife, saying he had found this child in the 
wood, and she could have it to help her in the house. The old 
woman was greatly pleased, and began to fondle the Prince with 
the utmost delight. He stayed there with them, and was very 
willing and obedient to them in everything, while they grew kinder 
to him every day. 

One day the Giant took him round and showed him all his 
rooms except the parlour ; this made the Prince curious to have a 
look into it, thinking there must be some very rare treasure there. 
So one day, when the Giant had gone into the forest, he tried to 
get into the parlour, and managed to get the door open half-way. 
Then he saw that some living creature moved inside and ran along 
the floor towards him and said something, which made him so 
frightened that lie sprang back from the door and shut it again. 
As soon as the fright began to pass off he tried it again, for ho 
thought it would be interesting to hear what it said ; but things 
went just as before witli him. lie then got angry with himself, 
arul, summoning up all his courage, tried it a third time, and 
opened the door of the room and stood linn. Then he saw that it 
was a big Dog, which spoke to him and said : 

' Choose me, Prince King.' 

The Prince went away rather afraid, thinking with himself that 
it was no great treasure after all ; but all the same what it had 
said to him stuck in his mind. 

It is not said how long the Prince stayed with the Giant, but 
one day the latter came to him and said he would now take him 
over to the mainland out of the island, for he himself had no long 
time to live. Ha also thaiikcJ hin\ jor his good service, and told 

T 



240 PRINCE RING 

him to choose some one of his possessions, for he would get what- 
ever he wanted. Ring thanked him heartily, and said there was 
no need to pay him for his services, they were so little worth ; but 
if he did wish to give him anything he would choose what was in 
the parlour. The Giant was taken by surprise, and said : 

( There, you chose my old woman's right hand ; but I must not 
break my word.' 

Upon this he went to get the Dog, which came running with 
signs of great delight ; but the Prince was so much afraid of it that 
it was all he could do to keep from showing his alarm. 

After this the Giant accompanied him down to the sea, 
where he saw a stone boat which was just big enough to hold the 
two of them and the Bog. On reaching the mainland the Giant 
took a friendly farewell of Ring, and told him he might take 
possession of all that was in the island after he and his wife died, 
which would happen within two weeks from that time. The Prince 
thanked him for this and for all his other kindnesses, and the 
Giant returned home, while Ring went up some distance from the 
sea ; but he did not know what land he had come to, and was 
afraid to speak to the Dog. After he had walked on in silence for a 
time the Dog spoke to him and said : 

' You don't seem to have much curiosity, seeing you never ask 
my name.' 

The Prince then forced himself to ask, ' What is your name ? ' 

'You had best call me Snati-Snati,' said the Dog. ' Now we 
are coming to a King's seat, and you must ask the King to keep us 
all winter, and to give you a little room for both of us.' 

The Prince now began to be less afraid of the Dog. They came 
to the King and asked him to keep them all the winter, to which 
he agreed. When the King's men saw the Dog they began to laugh 
at it, and make as if they would tease it ; but when the Prince 
saw this he advised them not to do it, or they might have the 
worst of it. They replied that they didn't care a bit what he 
thought. 

After Ring had been with the King for some days the latter 
began to think there was a great deal in him, and esteemed him more 
than the others. The King, however, had a counsellor called Red, who 
became very jealous when he saw how much the King esteemed 
Ring ; and one day he talked to him, and said he could not under- 
stand why he had so good an opinion of this stranger, who had not 
yet shown himself superior to other men in anything. The King 



PRINCE KING 241 

replied that it was only a short time since he had come there. 
Red then asked him to send them both to cut down wood next 
morning, and see which of them could do most work. Snati-Snati 
heard this and told it to King, advising him to ask the King for 
two axes, so that he might have one in reserve if the first one got 
broken. Next morning the King asked Ring and Red to go and 
cut down trees for him, and both agreed. Ring got the two axes, 
and each went his own way ; but when the Prince had got out into 
the wood Snati took one of the axes and began to hew along with 
him. In the evening the King came to look over their day's work, 
as Red had proposed, and found that Ring's wood-heap was more 
than twice as big. 

' I suspected,' said the King, ' that Ring was not quite useless ; 
never have I seen such a day's work.' 

Ring was now in far greater esteem with the King than before, 
and Red was all the more discontented. One day he came to the 
King and said, ' If Ring is such a mighty man, I think yon might 
ask him to kill the wild oxen in the wood here, and flay them the 
same day, and bring you the horns and the hides in the evening.' 

' Don't you think that a desperate errand ? ' said the King, ' seeing 
they are so dangerous, and no one has ever yet ventured to go 
against them ? ' 

Red answered that he had only one life to lose, and it would bo 
interesting to see how brave he was ; besides, the King would have 
good reason to ennoble him if he overcame them. The King at 
last allowed himself, though rather unwillingly, to be won over by 
Red's persistency, and one day asked Ring to go and kill the oxen 
that were in the wood for him, and bring their horns and hides to 
him in the evening. Not knowing how dangerous the oxen were, 
Ring was quite ready, and went oft" at once, to the great delight of 
Red, who was now sure of his death. 

As soon as Ring came in sight of the oxen they came bellowing 
to meet him ; one of them was tremendously big, the other rather 
less. Ring grew terribly afraid. 

' How do you like them ? ' asked Snati. 

' Not well at all,' said the Prince. 

6 We can do nothing else,' said Snati, ' than attack them, if it is 
to go well ; you will go against the little one, and I shall take tho 
other.' 

"With this Snati leapt at tho big one, and was not long in bring- 
ing him down. Meanwhile tho Frinco went against the other with 

t'2 



242 



PBINCE BING 



fear and trembling, and by the time Snati came to help him the ox 
had nearly got him under, but Snati was not slow in helping his 
master to kill it. 

Each of them then began to flay their own ox, but Ring was 
only half through by the time Snati had finished his. In the 
evening, after they had finished this task, the Prince thought 
himself unfit to carry all the horns and both the hides, so Snati told 
him to lay them all on his back until they got to the Palace gate. 




The Prince agreed, and laid everything on the Dog except the skin 
of the smaller ox, which he staggered along with himself. At the 
Palace gate he left everything lying, went before the King, and 
asked him to come that length with him, and there handed over to 
him the hides and horns of the oxen. The King was greatly sur- 
prised at his valour, and said he knew no one like him, and thanked 
him heartily for what he had done. 

After this tlie. King set Ring next to himself, and all esteemed 



PRINCE RING 243 

him highly, and held him to be a great hero ; nor could Red any 
longer say anything against him, though he grew still more 
determined to destroy him. One day a good idea came into his 
head. He came to the King and said he had something to say to 
him. 

' What is that ? ' said the King. 

Ited said that he had just remembered the gold cloak, gold 
chess-board, and bright gold piece that the King had lost about a 
year before. 

' Don't remind me of them ! ' said the King. 

Red, however, went on to say that, since Ring was such a mighty 
man that he could do everything, it had occurred to him to advise 
the King to ask him to search for these treasures, and come back 
with them before Christmas ; in return the King should promise 
him his daughter. 

The King replied that he thought it .altogether unbecoming to 
propose such a thing to Ring, seeing that he could not tell him 
where the things were ; but Red pretended not to hear the King's 
excuses, and went on talking about it until the King gave in to him. 
One day, a month or so before Christmas, the King spoke to Ring, 
saying that he wished to ask a great favour of him. 

1 What is that ? ' said Ring, 

* It is this,' said the King : ' that you find for me my gold cloak, 
my gold chess-board, and my bright gold piece, that were stolen 
from me about a year ago. If you can bring them to mo beforo 
Christmas 1 will give yon my daughter in marriage.' 

' Where am I to look for them, then ? ' said Ring. 

'That you must find out for yourself,' said the King; 'I don't 
know,' 

Ring now left the King, and was very silent, for lie saw he was 
in a great difficulty: but, on the other hand, he thought it was 
excellent to have such a chance of winning tho King's daughter. 
Snati noticed that his master was at a loss, and said to him that ho 
should not disregard what the King had asked him to do ; but lie 
would have to act upon his advice, otherwise he would xet into 
great difficulties. The Prince assented to this, and began to pre- 
pare for the journey. 

After he had taken leave of the King, and was setting out on 
the search, Snati said to him, 4 Now you must first of all go about 
the neighbourhood, and gather as much salt as ever you can.' Tho 
Prince did so, and gathered so much salt that lie could hardly carry 



244 



PRINCE BING 




it; but Snati said, 'Throw 
it on nry back,' which he 
accordingly did, and the 
Dog then ran on before the 
Prince, until they came 
to the foot of a steep cliff. 

1 We must go up here,' 
said Snati. 

' I don't think that 
will be child's play,' said 
the Prince. 

' Hold fast by my tail,' 
said Snati ; and in this 
way he pulled Ring up 
on the lowest shelf of the 
rock. The Prince began 
to get giddy, but up went 
Snati on to the second 
shelf. King was nearly 
swooning by this time, 
but Snati made a third 
effort and reached the top 
of the cliff, where the 
Prince fell down in a 
faint. After a little, how- 
ever, he recovered again, 
and they went a short 
distance along a level 
plain, until they came 
to a cave. This was on 
Christmas Eve. They 
went up above the cave, 
and found a window in 
it, through which they 
looked, and saw four trolls 
lying asleep beside the 
fire, over which a large 
porridge-pot was hanging. 

' Now you must empty 
all the salt into the por- 
ridge-pot,' said Snati. 



PRINCE RING 245 

Ring did so, and soon the trolls wakened up. The old hag, 
who was the most frightful of them all, went first to taste tho 
porridge. 

' How comes this ? ' she said ; ' the porridge is salt ! I got tho 
milk by witchcraft yesterday out of four kingdoms, and now it is 
salt ! ' 

All the others then came to taste the porridge, and thought it 
nice, but after they had finished it the old hag grew so thirsty that 
she could stand it no longer, and asked her daughter to go out and 
bring her some water from the river that ran near by. 

* I won't go,' said she, ' unless you lend me your bright gold 
piece.' 

* Though I should die you shan't have that,' said the hag. 
'Die, then,' said the girl. 

' Well, then, take it, you brat,' said the old hag, ' and be off with 
you, and make haste with the water.' 

The girl took the gold and ran out with it, and it was so bright 
that it shone all over the plain. As soon as she came to the river 
she lay down to take a drink of the water, but meanwhile the two 
of them had got down off the roof and thrust her, head first, into 
the river. 

The old hag began now to long for the water, and said that the 
girl would be running about with the gold piece all over tho plain, 
so she asked her son to go and get her a drop of water. 

'I won't go,' said he, 'unless I get the gold eloak.' 

'Though I should die you shan't have that,' said the hag. 

' Die, then,' said the son. 

4 Well, then, take it,' said the old hag, ' and be off with you, but 
you must make haste with the water.' 

He put on the cloak, and when he came outside it shone so bright 
that he could see to go with it. On reaching tho river he went to 
take a drink like his sister, but at that moment Ring and Snati 
sprang upon him, took tho cloak from him, and threw him into the 
river. 

The old hag could stand the thirst no lunger, and asked her 
husband to go for a drink for her ; tho brats, she said, were of 
course running about and playing themselves, just as she had 
expected they would, little wretches that they were. 

' I won't go,' said the old troll, ' unless you lend me the gold 
chess-board.' 

' Though I should die you shan't have ifiat,' said the hag. 



240 



PBINCE RING 



' 1 think you may just as well do that,' said he, ' since you won't 
grant me such a little favour.' 

' Take it, then, you utter disgrace ! ' said the old hag, < since you 
are just like these two brats.' 

The old troll now went out with the gold chess-board, and down 




to the river, and was about to take a drink, when Eing and Snati 
came upon him, took the chess-board from him, and threw him into 
the river. Before they had got back again, however, and up on top 
of the cave, they saw the poor old fellow's ghost come marching up 
from the river. Snati immediately sprang upon him, and Eing 
assisted in the attack, and after a hard struggle they mastered him 



PBINCE RING 247 

a second time. 'When they got back again to the window they saw 
that the old hag was moving towards the door. 

* Now we must go in at unce,' said Snati, ' and try to master her 
there, for if she once gets out we shall have no chance with her. 
She is the worst witch that ever lived, and no iron can cut her. 
One of us must pour boiling porridge out of the pot on her, and the 
other punch her with red-hot iron.' 

In they went then, and no sooner did the hag see them than she 
said, * So you have come, Prince Pang ; you must have seen to my 
husband and children.' 

Snati saw that she was about to attack them, and sprang 
at her with a red-hot iron from the fire, while Ring kept pouring 
boiling porridge on her without stopping, and in this way they 
at last got her killed. Then they burned the old troll and her to 
ashes, and explored the cave, where they found plenty of gold and 
treasures. The most valuable of these they carried with them as 
far as the cliff, and left them there. Then they hastened home to 
the King with his three treasures, where they arrived late on 
Christinas night, and Ring handed them over to him. 

The King was beside himself with joy, and was astonished at 
how clever a man Ping was in all kinds of feats, so that he esteemed 
him still more highly than before, and betrothed his daughter to 
him ; and the feast for this was to last all through Christmastide, 
Ring thanked the King courteously for this and all his other kind- 
nesses, and as soon as he had finished eating and drinking in the 
hall went off to sleep in his own room. Snati, however, asked 
permission to sleep in the Prince's bed for that night, while the 
Prince should sleep where the Dog usually lay. Ring said he was 
welcome to do so, and that he deserved more from him than that 
came to. So Snati went up into the Prince's bed, but after a time 
he came back, and told Ring he could go there himself now, but to 
take care not to meddle with anything that was in the bed. 

Now the story comes back to Red, who came into the hall and 
showed the King his right arm wanting the hand, and said that 
now he could see what kind of a man his intended son-in-law was, 
for he had done this to him without any cause whatever. The 
King became very angry, and said he would soon find out the truth 
about it, and if Ring had cut off his hand without good cause ho 
should be hanged ; but if it was otherwise, then Red should die. So 
the King sent for Ring and asked him for what reason he had done 
this. Snati, however, had just told 'Ring what had happened during 



248 PRINCE BING 

the night, and in reply he asked the King to go with him and he 
would show him something. The King went with him to his 
sleeping-room, and saw lying on the bed a man's hand holding a 
sword. 

4 This hand,' said Ring, ' came over the partition during the 
night, and was about to run me through in my bed, if I had not 
defended myself.' 

The King answered that in that case he could not blame him 
for protecting his own life, and that Bed was well worthy of death. 
So Red was hanged, and Ring married the King's daughter. 

The first night that they went to bed together Snati asked Ring 
to allow him to lie at their feet, and this Ring allowed him to do. 
During the night he heard a howling and outcry beside them, struck 
a light in a harry and saw an ugly dog's skin lying near him, 
and a beautiful Prince in the bed. Ring instantly took the skin 
and burned it, and then shook the Prince, who was lying unconscious, 
until he woke up. The bridegroom then asked his name ; he replied 
that he was called Ring, and was a King's son. In his youth he 
had lost his mother, and in her place his father had married a 
witch, who had laid a spell on him that he should turn into a dog, 
and never be released from the spell unless a Prince of the same 
name as himself allowed him to sleep at his feet the first night after 
his marriage. He added further, ' As soon as she knew that you 
were my namesake she tried to get you destroyed, so that you might 
not free me from the spell. She was the hind that you and your 
companions chased ; she was the woman that you found in the 
clearing with the barrel, and the old hag that we just now killed in 
the cave.' 

After the feasting was over the two namesakes, along with other 
men, went to the cliff and brought all the treasure home to the 
Palace. Then they went to the island and removed all that was 
valuable from it. Ring gave to his namesake, whom he had freed 
from the spell, his sister Ingiborg and his father's kingdom to look 
after, but he himself stayed with his father-in-law the King, and 
had half the kingdom while he lived and the whole of it after his 
death. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



249 



THE SWINEHERD 



TPHERE was once a poor Prince. He possessed a kingdom which, 
J- though small, was yet large enough for him to marry on, and 
married he wished to he. 

Now it was certainly a little audacious of him to venture to say 
to the Emperor's daughter, 'Will you marry me ? ' But he did 
venture to say so, for his name was known far and wide. There 
were hundreds of princesses who would gladly have said ' Yes,' but 
would she say the same ? 

Well, we shall see. 

On the grave of the Prince's father grew a rose-tree, a very 
beautiful rose-tree. It only bloomed every five years, and then 
bore but a single rose, but oh, such a rose ! Its scent was so sweet 
that when you smelt it you forgot all your cares and troubles. And 
he had also a nightingale which could sing as if all the beautiful 
melodies in the world were shut up in its little throat. This rose 
and this nightingale the Princess was to have, and so they wero 
both put into silver caskets and sent to her. 

The Emperor had them brought to him in the great hall, where 
the Princess was playing * Hero comes a duke a-riding ' with her 
ladies-in-waiting. And when she caught sight of the big caskets 
which contained the presents, she clapped her hands for joy. 

4 If only it were a little pussy-cat 1 ' she said. But the rose-tree 
with the beautiful rose came out. 

' But how prettily it is made 1 ' said all the ladies-in-waiting. 

' It is more than pretty,' said the Emperor, ' it is charming I ' 

But the Princess felt it, and then she almost began to cry. 

1 Ugh ! Papa,' she said, ' it is not artificial, it is real ! ' 

1 Ugh ! ' said all the ladies-in-waiting, ' it is real ! ' 

' Let us see first what is in tho other casket before we begin to 
be angry,' thought the Emperor, and there came out the nightingale. 



250 THE SWINEHERD 

It sang so beautifully that one could scarce]} 7 utter a cross word 
against it. 

' Sujpcrhc ! charmant ! ' said the ladies-in-waiting, for they all 
chattered French, each one worse than the other. 

4 How much the bird reminds me of the musical snuff-box of 
the late Empress ! ' said an old courtier. ' Ah, yes, it is the same 
tone, the same execution ! ' 

( Yes,' said the Emperor ; and then he wept like a little child. 

' I hope that this, at least, is not real ? ' asked the Princess, 

' Yes, it is a real bird,' said those who had brought it. 

1 Then let the bird fly away,' said the Princess ; and she would 
not on any account allow the Prince to come. 

' But he was nothing daunted. He painted his face brown and 
black, drew his cap well over his face, and knocked at the door. 
' Good-day, Emperor,' he said. ' Can I get a place here as servant 
in the castle ? ' 

( Yes,' said the Emperor, ' but there are so many who ask for 
a place that I don't know whether there will he one for you ; but, 
still, I will think of you. Stay, it has just occurred to me that I 
want someone to look after the swine, for I have so very many of 
them.' 

And the Prince got the situation of Imperial Swineherd. He 
had a wretched little room close to the pigsties; here he had to 
stay, but the whole day he sat working, and when evening was 
come he had made a pretty little pot. All round it were little bells, 
and when the pot boiled they jingled most beautifully and played 
the old tune — 

' Where is Augustus dear ? 
Alas ! he's not here, here, here ! ' 

But the most wonderful thing was, that when one held one's finger 
in the steam of the pot, then at once one could smell what dinner 
was ready in any fire-place in the town. That was indeed some- 
thing quite different from the rose. 

]Now the Princess came walking past with all her ladies-in- 
waiting, and when she heard the tune she stood still and her face 
beamed with joy, for she also could play ' Where is Augustus 
dear ? ' 

It was the only tune she knew, but that she could play with one 
finger. 

•Why, that is what I play!/ she said. 'He must be a most 



***?*■; ■■■-■ s^ «S+ 




Titfc .SW1NEHEKD T/VKE,3 THE TUN* KISSES 



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Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SWINEHERD 251 

accomplished Swineherd ! Listen ! Go down and ask him what the 
instrument costs.' 

And one of the ladies-in-waiting had to go down ; but she put 
on wooden clogs. ' What will you take for the pot ? ' asked the 
lady-in-waiting. 

' I will have ten kisses from the Princess,' answered the Swine- 
herd. 

' Heaven forbid ! ' said the lady-in-waiting. 

* Yes, I will sell it for nothing less,' replied the Swineherd. 

* Well, what does he say ? ' asked the Princess. 

'I really hardly like to tell you,' answered the lady-in-waiting. 
' Oh, then you can whisper it to me.' 

1 He is disobliging ! * said the Princess, and went away. But 
she had only gone a few steps when the bells rang out so prettily — 

1 Where is Augustus dear ? 
Alas ! he's not here, here, here.' 

' Listen ! ' said the Princess. ' Ask him whether he will take ten 
kisses from my ladies-in-waiting.' 

'No, thank you,' said the Swineherd. 'Ten kisses from tho 
Princess, or else I keep my pot.' 

' That is very tiresome ! ' said the Princess. * But you must put 
yourselves in front of me, so that no one can see.' 

And the ladies-in-waiting placed themselves in front and then 
spread out their dresses ; so the Swineherd got his ten kisses, and 
she got the pot. 

What happiness that was ! The whole night and the whole day 
the pot was made to boil ; there was not a fire-place in the whole 
town where they did not know what was being cooked, whether it 
was at the chancellor's or at the shoemaker's. 

The ladies-in-waiting danced and clapped their hands. 

'We know who is going to have soup and pancakes; we know 
who is going to have porridge and sausages — isn't it interest- 
ing? ' 

* Yes, very interesting ! ' said the first lady-in-waiting. 

' But don't say anything about it, for I am the Emperor's 
daughter.' 

'Oh, no, of course we won't ! ' said everyone. 

The Swineherd — that is to say, the Prince (though they did not 
know he was anything but a true Swineherd)— let no day pass with- 
out making something, and one day he niado u ruttlo which, when 



252 THE SWINEHEED 

it was turned round, played all the waltzes, galops, and polkas 
which had ever been known since the world began. 

* But that is superbe ! ' said the Princess as she passed by. 4 1 
have never heard a more beautiful composition. Listen ! Go down 
and ask him what this instrument costs ; but I won't kiss him 
again.' 

I He wants a hundred kisses from the Princess,' said the lady- 
in-waiting who had gone down to ask him. 

I I believe he is mad ! ' said the Princess, and then she went on ; 
but she had only gone a few steps when she stopped. 

' One ought to encourage art,' she said. * I am the Emperor's 
daughter ! Tell him he shall have, as before, ten kisses ; the rest he 
can take from ray ladies-in-waiting.' 

1 But we don't at all like being kissed by him,' said the ladies- 
in-waiting. 

' That's nonsense,' said the Princess ; ( and if I can kiss him, you 
can too. Besides, remember that I give you board and lodging.' 

So the ladies-in-waiting had to go down to him again. 

* A hundred kisses from the Princess,' said he t ' or each keeps 
his own.' 

4 Put yourselves in front of us,' she said then; and so all the 
ladies-in-waiting put themselves in front, and he began to kiss the 
Princess. 

' What can that commotion be by the pigsties ? ' asked the 
Emperor, who was standing on the balcony. He rubbed his eyes 
and put on his spectacles. * Why those are the ladies-in-waiting 
playing their games ; I must go down to them.' 

So betook off his shoes, which were shoes though he had trodden 
them down into slippers. What a hurry he was in, to be sure ! 

As soon as he came into the yard he walked very softly, and 
the ladies-in-waiting were so busy counting the kisses and seeing 
fair play that they never noticed the Emperor. He stood on 
tiptoe. 

' What is that ? ' he said, when he saw the kissing ; and then he 
threw one of his slippers at their heads just as the Swineherd was 
taking his eighty-sixth kiss. 

' Be off with you ! ' said the Emperor, for he was very angry. 
And the Princess and the Swineherd were driven out of the empire. 

Then she stood still and wept ; the Swineherd was scolding, and 
the rain was streaming down. 

' Alas, what an unhappy creature I am ! ' sobbed the Princess. 



THE SWINEHERD 253 

' If only I had taken the beautiful Frince ! Alas, how unfortunate 
I am ! ' 

And the Swineherd went behind a tree, washed the black and 
brown oif his face, threw away his old clothes, and then stepped 
forward in his splendid dress, looking so beautiful that the Princess 
was obliged to courtesy. 

' I now come to this. I despise you ! ' he said. ' You would 
have nothing to do with a noble Frince ; you did not understand 
the rose or the nightingale, but you could kiss the Swineherd for 
the sake of a toy. This is what you get for it ! ' And he went 
Into his kingdom and shut the door in her face, and she had to stay 
outside singing — 

' Where's my Augustus dear ? 
Alas ! he's not here, here, here ! 



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251 



HOW TO TELL A TRUE PRINCESS 



f PHERE was once upon a time a Prince who wanted to marry a 
-L Princess, but she must be a true Princess. So he travelled 
through the whole world to find one, but there was always something 
against each. There were plenty of Princesses, but he could not 
find out if they were true Princesses. In every case there was 
some little defect, which showed the genuine article was not yet 
found. So he came home again in very low spirits, for he had 
wanted very much to have a true Princess. One night there was a 
dreadful storm ; it thundered and lightened and the rain streamed 
down in torrents. It was fearful ! There was a knocking heard at 
the Palace gate, and the old King went to open it. 

There stood a Princess outside the gate ; but oh, in what a sad 
plight she was from the rain and the storm ! The water was 
running down from her hair and her dress into the points of her 
shoes and out at the heels again. And yet she said she was a true 
Princess ! 

' Well, we shall soon find that ! ' thought the old Queen. But 
she said nothing, and went into the sleeping-room, took off all the 
bed-clothes, and laid a pea on the bottom of the bed. Then she put 
twenty mattresses on top of the pea, and twenty eider-down quilts 
on the top of the mattresses. And this was the bed in which the 
Princess W T as to sleep. 

The next morning she was asked how she had slept. 

' Oh, very badly ! ' said the Princess. ' I scarcely closed my 
eyes all night ! I am sure I don't know what was in the bed. I 
lay on something so hard that my whole body is black and blue. 
It is dreadful ! * 

Now they perceived that she was a true Princess, because she 
had felt the pea through the twenty mattresses and the twenty 
eider-down qui! 



„zea by Microsoft <g) 

No one but a true Princess could be so sensitive. 



HOW TO TELL A TRUE PRINCESS 255 

So the Prince married her, for now ho knew that at last ho had 
got hold of a true Princess. And the pea was put into the Koyal 
Museum, where it is still to be seen if no one has stolen it. Now 
this is a true story. 







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V 2 



256 



THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 



THERE were once a Scotsman and an Englishman and an 
Irishman serving in the amiy together, who took it into their 
heads to run away on the first opportunity they could get. The 
chance came and they took it. They went on travelling for two 
days through a great forest, without food or drink, and without 
coming across a single house, and every night they had to climb up 
into the trees through fear of the wild beasts that were in the 
wood. On the second morning the Scotsman saw from the top of 
his tree a great castle far away. He said to himself that he would 
certainly die if he stayed in the forest without anything to eat but 
the roots of grass, which would not keep him alive very long. As 
soon, then, as he got down out of the tree he set off towards the 
castle, without so much as telling his companions that he had seen 
it at all ; perhaps the hunger and want they had suffered had 
changed their nature so much that the one did not care what 
became of the other if he could save himself. He travelled on 
most of the day, so that it was quite late when he reached the 
castle, and to his great disappointment found nothing but closed 
doors and no smoke rising from the chimneys. He thought there 
was nothing for it but to die after all, and had lain down beside the 
wall, when he heard a wir.dow being opened high above him. At 
this he looked up, and saw the most beautiful woman he had ever 
set eyes on. 

' Oh, it is Fortune that has sent you to me,' he said, 
* It is indeed,' said she. ' What are you in need of, or what has 
sent you here ? ' 

' Necessity,' said he. ' I am dying for want of food and drink.' 

' Come inside, then,' she said ; ' there is plenty of both here.' 

Accordingly he went in to where she was, and she opened a 

large room for him, where he saw a number of men lying asleep. She 

then set food before him, and after that showed him to the room 



THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 257 

where the others were. lie lay down on one of the beds and fell 
sound asleep. And now we must go back to the two that he left 
behind him in the wood. 

When nightfall and the time of the wild beasts came upon 
these, the Englishman happened to climb up into the very same 
tree on which the Scotsman was when he got a sight of the castle ; 
and as soon as the day began to dawn and the Englishman looked 
to the four quarters of heaven, what did he see but the castle too ! 
Off he went without saying a word to the Irishman, and everything 
happened to him just as it had done to the Scotsman. 

The poor Irishman was now left all alone, and did not know 
where the others had gone to, so he just stayed where he was, very 
sad and miserable. When night came he climbed up into the same 
tree as the Englishman had been on the night before. As soon as 
day came he also saw the castle, and set out towards it ; but when 
he reached it he could see no signs of fire or living being about it. 
Before long, however, he heard the window opened above his head, 
looked up, and beheld the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. 
He asked if she would give him food and drink, and she answered 
kindly and heartily that she would, if he would only come inside. 
This he did very willingly, and she set before him food and drink 
that he had never seen the like of before. In the room thero was 
a bed, with diamond rings hanging at every loop of the curtains, 
and everything that was in the room besides astonished him so 
much that lie actually forgot that he was hungry. When she saw 
that ho was not eating at all, she asked him what he wanted yet, 
to which he replied that ho would neither eat nor drink until ho 
knew who she was, or where she came from, or who had put her 
there, 

' I shall tell you that/ said sho. ' I am an enchanted Princess, 
and my father has promised that tho man who' releases mo from 
tho spell shall have tho third of his kingdom while he is alive, and 
the whole of it after lie is dead, and marry mo as well. If ever 1 
saw a man who looked likely to do this, you arc the one. I have 
been hero for sixteen years now, and no one who ever came to tho 
castle has asked mo who I was, except yourself. Every other m;m 
that has come, so long as I havo been here, lies asleep in tho big 
room down there.' 

* Tell me, thon,' said the Irishman, 'what is the spell that has 
been laid on you, and how you can be freed from it ' 

' There is a little room thero/ said the "Princess, ' and if I could 



258 



THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 



get a inan to stay in it from ten o'clock till midnight for three nights 
on end I should be freed from the spell.' 

' I am the man for you, then,' said he ; ' I will take on hand to 
do it.' 

Thereupon she brought him a pipe and tobacco, and he went 




into the room; but before long he heard a hammering and knocking 
on the outside of the door, and was told to open it 

' I won't,' he said. 

The next moment the door came flying in, and those outside 
along with it. They knocked him down, and kicked him, and knelt 
on his body till it came to midnight ; but as soon as the cock crew 
they all disappeared. The Irishman was little more than alive 



THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 259 

by this time. As soon as daylight appeared the Princess came, and 
found him lying full length on the floor, unable to speak a word. 
She took a bottle, rubbed him from head to foot with something 
from it, and thereupon he was as sound as ever ; but after what 
he had got that night he was very unwilling to try it a second 
time. The Princess, however, entreated him to stay, saying that 
the next night would not be so bad, and in the end he gave in and 
stayed. 

"When it was getting near midnight he heard them ordering 
him to open the door, and there were three of them for every one 
that there had been the previous evening. He did not make the 
slightest movement to go out to tliem or to open the door, but 
before long they broke it up, and were in on top of him. They laid 
hold of him, and kept throwing him between them up to the ceiling, 
or jumping above him, until the cock crew, when they all dis- 
appeared. When day came the Princess went to the room to sec 
if he was still alive, and taking the bottle put it to his nostrils, 
which soon brought him to himself. The first thing he said then 
was that lie was a fool to go on getting himself killed for anyone he 
ever saw, and was determined to be off and stay there no longer, 
When the Princess learned his intention she entreated him to 
stay, reminding him that another night would free her from the 
spell. ' Besides,' she said, ' if there is a single spark of life in yon 
when the day comes, the stuff that is in this bottle will make you 
as sound as ever yon were.' 

With all this the Irishman decided to stay; but that night there 
were three at him for every one that was there the two nights 
before, and it looked very unlikely that he would be alive in the 
morning after all that he got. When morning dawned, and the 
Princess came to see if he was still alive, she found him lying on the 
iloor as if dead. She tried to see if there was breath in him, but 
could not quite make it out. Then she put her hand on his pulse, 
and found a faint movement in it. Accordingly she poured what 
was in the bottle on him, and before long he rose up on his feet, and 
was as well as ever he was. So that business was finished, and the 
Princess was freed from the spell. 

The Princess then told the Irishman that she must go away for 
the present, but would return for him in a few days in a carriage 
drawn by four grey horses. He told her to ' be aisy,' and not speak 
like that to him. ' I have paid dear for you for the last three 
nights,' he said, ' If I have td pat-fc with you now ; ' but in the 



260 THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 

twinkling of an eye she had disappeared. He did not know what 
to do with himself when lie saw that she was gone, hut before she 
went she had given him a little rod, with which he could, when he 
pleased, waken the men who had been sleeping there, some of them 
for sixteen years. 

After being thus left alone, he went in and stretched himself on 
three chairs that were in the room, when what does he see coming 
in at the door but a little fair-haired lad. 

' Where did you come from, my lad ? ' said the Irishman. 

4 1 came to make ready your food for you,' said he. 

' Who told you to do that ? ' said the Irishman. 

' My mistress,' answered the lad — ' the Princess that was under 
the spell and is now free.' 

By this the Irishman knew that she had sent the lad to wait on 
him. The lad also told him that his mistress wished him to be 
ready next morning at nine o'clock, when she would come for him 
with the carriage, as she had promised. He was greatly pleased at 
this, and next morning, when the time was drawing near, went out 
into the garden ; but the little fair-haired lad took a big pin out of 
his pocket, and stuck it into the back of the Irishman's coat without 
his noticing it, whereupon he fell sound asleep. 

Before long the Princess came with the carriage and four horses, 
and asked the lad whether his master was awake. He said that he 
wasn't. ' It is bad for him,' said she, ' when the night is not long 
enough for him to sleep. Tell him that if he doesn't meet me at 
this time to-morrow it is not likely that he will ever see me again 
all his life.' 

As soon as she was gone the fair-haired lad took the pin out of 
his master's coat, who instantly awoke. The first word he said to 
the lad was, ' Have you seen her ? ' 

' Yes,' said he, ' and she bade me tell you that if you don't 
meet her at nine o'clock to-morrow you will never see her again.' 

He was very sorry when he heard this, and could not understand 
why the sleep should have fallen upon him just when she was 
coming. He decided, however, to go early to bed that night, in 
order to rise in time next morning, and so he did. When it was 
getting near nine o'clock ;he went out to the garden to wait till she 
came, and the fair-haired lad along with him ; but as soon as the 
lad got the chance he stuck the pin into his master's coat again 
and he fell asleep as before. Precisely at nine o'clock came 
the Princess in the carnage with four horses, and asked the lad 



THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 261 

if his master had got up yet ; but lie said ' No, he was asleep, jnsl 
as he was the day before.' ' J)car ! dear ! ' said the Princess, * I am 
sorry for him. Was the sleep he had last night not enough for 
him ? Tell him that he will never sec me here again ; and here is 
a sword that you will give him in my name, and my blessing along 
with it.' 

^¥ith this she went off, and as soon as she had gone the lad took 
the pin out of his master's coat. He awoke instantly, and the first 
word he said was, ' Have you seen her ? ' The lad said that he 
had, and there was the sword she had left for him. The Irishman 
was ready to kill the lad out of sheer vexation, but when he gave 
a glance over his shoulder not a trace of the fair-haired lad was 
left. 

Being thus left all alone, he thought of going into the room 
where all the men were lying asleep, and there among the rest he 
found his two comrades who had deserted along with him. Then 
he remembered what the Princess had told him — that he had only 
to touch them with the rod she had given him and they would all 
awake ; and the first he touched were his own comrades. They 
started to their feet at once, and he gave them as much silver and 
gold as they could carry when they went away. There was plenty 
to do before he got all the others wakened, for the two doors of the 
castle were crowded with them all the day long. 

The loss of the Princess, however, kept rankling in his mind day 
and night, till finally he thought he would go about tho world to sec 
if he could find anyone to give him news of her. So he took the 
best horse in the stable and set out. Three years he spent travelling 
through forests and wildernesses, but could find no one able to tell 
him anything of tho Princess. At last he fell into so great despair 
that he thought he would put an end to his own life, and for this 
purpose laid hold of the sword that she had given him by the hands 
of the fair-haired lad ; but on drawing it from its sheath he noticed 
that there was some writing on one side of the blade, lie looked 
at this, and read there, * Yon will find me in tho Blue Mountains.' 
This made him take heart again, and he gave up the idea of killing 
himself, thinking that he would go on in hope of meeting some one 
who could tell him where the Blue Mountains were. After he had 
gone a long way without thinking whore ho was going, lie saw at last 
a "iilit far away, and made straight for it. On reaching it he found 
it came from a little house, and as soon as the man-inside heard the 
noise of the horse's feel lie eamo out to sec who was* there. Seeing 



262 THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 

a stranger on horseback, lie asked what brought him there and 
where he was going. 

' I have lived here,' said he, ' for three hundred years, and 
all that time I have not seen a single human being but yourself.' 

' I have been going about for the last three years,' said the 
Irishman, ' to see if I could find anyone who can tell me where the 
Blue Mountains are.' 

' Come in,' said the old man, ' and stay with me all night. I 
have a book which contains the history of the world, which I 
shall go through to-night, and if there is such a place as the Blue 
Mountains in it we shall find it out.' 

The Irishman stayed there all night, and as soon as morning 
came rose to go. The old man said he had not gone to sleep all 
night for going through the book, but there was not a word about 
the Blue Mountains in it. 'But I'll tell you what,' he said, 'if 
there is such a place on earth at all, I have a brother who lives nine 
hundred miles from here, and he is sure to know where they are, if 
anyone in this world does.' The Irishman answered that he could 
never go these nine hundred miles, for his horse was giving in 
already. 'That doesn't matter,' said the old man; 'I can do 
better than that. I have only to blow my whistle and you will be 
at my brother's house before nightfall.' 

So he blew the whistle, and the Irishman did not know where 
on earth he was until he found himself at the other old man's door, 
who also told him that it was three hundred years since he had 
seen anyone, and asked him where he was going, 

( I am going to see if I can find anyone that can tell me where 
the Blue Mountains are,' he said. 

' If you will stay with me to-night,' said the old man, ' I have a 
book of the history of the world, and I shall know where they are 
before daylight, if there is such a place in it at all.' 

He stayed there all night, but there was not a word in the book 
about the Blue Mountains. Seeing that he was rather cast down, the 
old man told him that he had a brother nine hundred miles away, 
and that if information could be got about them from anyone it 
would be from him ; ' and I will enable you,' he said, ' to reach the 
place where he lives before night.' So he blew his whistle, and the 
Irishman landed at the brother's house before nightfall. When 
the old man saw him he said he had not seen a single man for 
three hundred years, and was very much surprised to see anyone 
come to him now.|/if/Z€ 




^TRe Irishman arrived at the !Blii£-Mqu.niQift5 ' 

uignizea oy Microsoft*® 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 2G3 

' "Where are you going to ? ' he said. 

'I am going about asking for the Blue Mountains,' said the 
Irishman. 

1 The Blue Mountains ? ' said the old man. 

1 Yes,' said the Irishman. 

1 I never heard the name before ; but if they do exist I shall 
find them out. I am master of all the birds in the world, and have 
only to blow my whistle and every one will come to me. 1 shall 
then ask each of them to tell where it came from, and if there is 
any way of finding out the Blue Mountains that is it.' 

So he blew his whistle, and when he blew it then all the birds of 
the world began to gather. The old man questioned each of them 
as to where they had come from, but there was not one of them 
that had come from the Blue Mountains. After he had run over 
them all, however, he missed a big Eagle that was wanting, and 
wondered that it had not come. Soon afterwards he saw some- 
thing big coming towards him, darkening the sky. It kept coming 
nearer and growing bigger, and what was this after all but the 
Eogle ° When she arrived the old man scolded her, and asked 
what had kept her so long behind. 

'I couldn't help it,' she said; ' I had more than twenty times 
further to come than any bird that has come here to-day.' 

1 ^Yhere have you come from, then ? ' said the old man. 

'From the Blue Mountains,' said she. 

1 Indeed ! ' said the old man ; * and what are they doing there? ' 

* They are making ready this very day,' said the Eagle, ' for the 
marriage of the daughter of the King uf the Blue Mountains, Eor 
three years now she has refused to marry anyone whatsoever, until 
she should give up all hope of the coming of the man who released 
her from the spell. Now she can wait no longer, for three years is 
the time that she agreed with her father to remain without marry- 
ing.' 

The Irishman knew that it was for himself she had been waiting 
so long, but ho was unable to mako any better of it, for he had no 
hope of reaching the Blue Mountains all his life. Tho old man 
noticed how sad he grew, and asked tho Eagle what she would take 
for carrying this man on her back to tho Blue Mountains. 

' I must have threescore cattlo killed,' said she, ' and cut up 
into quarters, and every time I look over my shoulder he must 
throw one of them into my month.' 

As soon as the Irishman and the old man heard her demand 



264 THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 

they went out hunting, and before evening they had killed three- 
score cattle. They made quarters of them, as the Eagle told them, 
and then the old man asked her to lie down, till they would get it 
all heaped up on her back. First of all, though, they had to get a 
ladder of fourteen steps, to enable them to get on to the Eagle's back, 
and there they piled up the meat as well as they could. Then the 
old man told the Irishman to mount, and to remember to throw a 
quarter of beef to her every time she looked round. He went up, 
and the old man gave the Eagle the word to be off, which she 
instantly obeyed ; and every time she turned her head the Irishman 
threw a quarter of beef into her mouth. 

As they came near the borders of the kingdom of the Blue 
Mountains, however, the beef was done, and, when the Eagle 
looked over her- shoulder, what was the Irishman at but throwing 
the stone between her tail and her neck ! At this she turned a 
complete somersault, and threw the Irishman off into the sea, 
where he fell into the bay that was right in front of the King's 
Palace. Fortunately the points of his toes just touched the bottom, 
and he managed to get ashore. 

When he went up into the town all the streets were gleaming 
with light, and the wedding of the Princess was just about to begin. 
He went into the first house he came to, and this happened to be 
the house of the King's hen-wife. He asked the old woman what 
was causing all the noise and light in the town. 

' The Princess,' said she, ' is going to be married to-night against 
her will, for she has been expecting every day that the man who 
freed her from the spell would come.' 

' There is a guinea for you,' said he ; ' go and bring her here.' 

The old woman went, and soon returned along with the Princess. 
She and the Irishman recognised each other, and were married, and 
had a great wedding that lasted for a year and a day. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



2G5 



THE TINDER-BOX 



A SOLDIER carne marching along the high road— left, right 1 
**- left, right ! He had his knapsack on his back and a sword by 
his side, for he had been to the wars and was now returning home. 

An old Witch met him on the road. She was very ugly to look 
at : her under-lip hung down to her breast. 

' Good evening, Soldier ! ' she said. ' What a fine sword and 
knapsack you have ! You are something like a soldier ! You 
ought to have as much money as you would like to carry ! ' 

' Thank you, old Witch,' said the Soldier. 

' Do you see that great tree there ? ' said the Witch, pointing to 
a tree beside them. ' Jt is hollow within. You must climb up to 
the top, and then you will see a hole through which you can let 
yourself down into the tree. I will tie a rope round your waist, so 
that I may be able to pull you up again when you call.' 

' What shall I do down there ? ' asked the Soldier. 

' Get money ! ' answered the Witch. ' Listen ! When you reach 
the bottom of the tree you will find yourself in a large hall ; it is 
light there, for there are more than throe hundred lamps burn- 
ing. Then you will see three doors, which yon can open— the 
keys are in the locks. If you go into the first room, you will see a 
great chest in the middle of the lloor with a dog sitting upon it ; he 
has eyes as large as saucers, but you needn't trouble about him. 1 
will give you my blue-check apron, which you must spread out on the 
floor, and then go back quickly and fetch tho dog and set him 
upon it ; open the chest and take as much money as you like. It 
is copper there. If you would rather have silver, you must go into 
the next room, where there is a do£ with eyes as large as mill- 
wheels. But don't take any notice of him ; just set him upon my 
apron, and help yourself to tho money. If you prefer gold, you can 
get that too, if you go into the third room, and as much as you like 
to carry. But ,{B>'d6tf that guards th^ chest there Jias eyes as large 



206 THE TINDER-BOX 

as the Bound Tower at Copenhagen ! He is a savage dog, I can 
tell you ; but you needn't be afraid of him either. Only, put him on 
my apron and he won't touch you, and you can take out of the 
chest as much gold as you like ! ' 

' Come, this is not bad ! ' said the Soldier. 'But what am I to 
give you, old Witch ; for surely you are not going to do this for 
nothing ? ' 

' Yes, I am ! ' replied the Witch. ' Not a single farthing will I 
take ! For me you shall bring nothing but an old tinder-box which 
my grandmother forgot last time she was down there.' 

' Well, tie the rope round my waist ! ' said the Soldier. 

' Here it is,' said the Witch, ' and here is my blue-check apron.' 

Then the Soldier climbed up the tree, let himself down through 
the hole, and found himself standing, as the Witch had said, 
underground in the large hall, where the three hundred lamps were 
burning. 

Well, he opened the first door. Ugh I there sat the dog with 
eyes as big as saucers glaring at him. 

' You are a fine fellow ! ' said the Soldier, and put him on the 
Witch's apron, took as much copper as his pockets could hold ; 
then he shut the chest, put the dog on it again, and went into the 
second room. Sure enough there sat the dog with eyes as large as 
mill-wheels. 

' Yon had better not look at me so hard ! ' said the Soldier. 
' Your eyes will come out of their sockets ! ' 

And then he set the dog on the apron. When he saw all the 
silver in the chest, he threw away the copper he had taken, and 
filled his pockets and knapsack with nothing but silver. 

Then he went into the third room. Horrors ! the dog there 
had two eyes, each as large as the Bound Tower at Copenhagen, 
spinning round in his head like wheels. 

* Good evening ! ' said the Soldier and saluted, for he had never 
seen a dog like this before. But when he had examined him more 
closely, he thought to himself: 'Now then, I've had enough of 
this ! ' and put him down on the floor, and opened the chest. 
Heavens ! what a heap of gold there was ! With all that he could 
buy up the whole town, and all the sugar pigs, all the tin soldiers, 
whips and rocking-horses in the whole world. Now he threw away 
all the silver with which he had filled his pockets and knapsack, 
and filled them with gold instead—yes, all his pockets, his knap- 
sack, cap and boots even, so that he could hardly walk. Now he 



THE TINDER-BOX 



2G7 



was rich indeed. lie put the dog back upon the chest, shut the 
door, and then called up through the tree : 

' Now pull me up again, old Witch 1 ' 

• Have you got the tinder-box also ? ' asked the Witch. 

' Botheration ! ' said the Soldier, ' I had clean forgotten it 1 ' 
And then he went back and fetched it. 

The Witch pulled him up, and there he stood again on the high 
road, with pockets, knapsack, cap and boots filled with gold. 




TW Soldier fills his K^S^ck. 

vitk Money 

* What do you want to do with the tinder-box ? ' asked tho 
Soldier. 

' That doesn't matter to you,' replied the Witch. ' You have 
got your money, give ine my tinder-box.' 

' We'll see ! ' said tho Soldier. * Tell me at once what you want 
to do with it, or I will draw my sword, and cut off your head ! ' 

' No 1' screamed the Witch. 

Tho Soldier immediately cut off her head. That was the end 
of her I But he tied up all his gold in her apron, slung it like a 

Y X 



268 THE TINDEB-BOX 

bundle over his shoulder, put the tinder-box in his pocket, and set 
out towards the town. 

It was a splendid town ! He turned into the finest inn, ordered 
the best chamber and his favourite dinner ; for now that he had so 
much money he was really rieh. 

It certainly oeeurred to the servant who had to clean his boots 
that they were astonishingly old boots for such a rieh lord. But 
that was because he had not yet bought new ones ; next day he 
appeared in respectable boots and fine clothes. Now, instead of a 
common soldier he had beeome a noble lord, and the people told 
him about all the grand doings of the town and the King, and what 
a beautiful Princess his daughter was. 

* How can one get to see her ? ' asked the Soldier. 

* She is never to be seen at all ! ' they told him ; * she lives in 
a great copper castle, surrounded by many walls and towers ! No 
one except the King may go in or out, for it is prophesied that she 
will marry a common soldier, and the King cannot submit to that.' 

4 1 should very much like to see her,' thought the Soldier ; but 
he could not get permission. 

Now he lived very gaily, went to the theatre, drove in the King's 
garden, and gave the poor a great deal of money, which was very 
niee of him ; he had experienced in former times how hard it is 
not to have a farthing in the world. Now he was rieh, wore fine 
clothes, and made many friends, who all said that he was an 
excellent man, a real nobleman. And the Soldier liked that. But 
as he was always spending money, and never made any more, at 
last the day eame when he had nothing left but two shillings, and 
he had to leave the beautiful rooms in which he had been living, 
and go into a little attic under the roof, and clean his own boots, 
and mend them with a darning-needle. None of his friends came 
to visit him there, for there were too many stairs to elimb. 

It was a dark evening, and he could not even buy a light. But 
all at once it flashed across him that there was a little end of tinder 
in the tinder-box, which he had taken from the hollow tree into 
which the Witch had helped him down. He found the box with 
the tinder in it ; but just as he was kindling a light, and had struck 
a spark out of the tinder-box, the door burst open, and the dog with 
eyes as large as saucers, which he had seen down in the tree, stood 
before him and said : 

* What does my lord command ? ' 

' What's the meaning of this ? ' exclaimed the Soldier. ' This is 



THE TINDER-BOX 



2G9 



a pretty kind of tinder-box, if I can get whatever I want like this. 
Get me money !' he cried to the dog, and hey, presto ! he was off 
and back again, holding a great purse full of money in his mouth. 

Now the Soldier knew what a capital tinder-box this was. If ho 
rubbed once, the dog that sat on the chest of copper appeared ; if 
he rubbed twice, there came the dog that watched over the silver 
chest ; and if he rubbed three times, the one that guarded the gold 
appeared. Now, the Soldier went down again to his beautiful 
rooms, and appeared once more in splendid clothes. All his friends 
immediately recognised him again, and paid him great court. 

One day he thought to himself : ' It is very strange that no one 




can get to sco the Princess. They all say she is very pretty, but 
what's the uso of that if sho has to sit for ever in the great copper 
castle with all the towers ? Can I not manage to sco her somehow '? 
"Whore is my tinder-box ? ' and so ho struck a spark, and, presto ! 
there came the dog with eyes as largo as saucers. 

1 It is the middle of the night, I know,' said the Soldier; ' but I 
should very much like to see tho Princess for a moment.' 

The dog was already outside the door, and before the Soldier 
could look round, in ho came with the Princess. Sho was lying 
asleep on the dog's back, and was bo beautiful that anyone could 
sec she was a real Princess. Tho Soldfer really could not refrain 

x2 



270 THE TINDER-BOX 

from kissing her — he was such a thorough Soldier. Then the dog 
ran back with the Princess. But when it was morning, and the 
King and Queen were drinking tea, the Princess said that the night 
before she had had such a strange dream about a dog and a Soldier : 
she had ridden on the dog's back, and the Soldier had kissed her. 

' That is certainly a fine story,' said the Queen. But the next 
night one of the ladies-in-waiting was to watch at the Princess's 
bed, to see if it was onty a dream, or if it had actually happened. 

The Soldier had an overpowering longing to see the Princess 
again, and so the dog came in the middle of the night and fetched 
her, running as fast as he could. But the lady-in-waiting slipped 
on indiarubber shoes and followed them. When she saw them 
disappear into a large house, she thought to herself: ' Now I know 
where it is ; ' and made a great cross on the door with a piece of 
chalk. Then she went home and lay down, and the dog came back 
also, with the Princess. But when he saw that a cross had been 
made on the door of the house where the Soldier lived, he took a 
piece of chalk also, and made crosses on all the doors in the town ; 
and that was very clever, for now the lady-in-waiting could not find 
the right house, as there were crosses on all the doors. 

Early next morning the King, Queen, ladies-in-waiting, and 
officers came out to see where the Princess had been. 

' There it is ! ' said the King, when he saw the first door with a 
cross on it. 

' No, there it is, my dear ! ' said the Queen, when she likewise 
saw a door with a cross. 

' But here is one, and there is another ! ' they all exclaimed ; 
wherever they looked there was a cross on the door. Then they 
realised that the sign would not help them at all. 

But the Queen was an extremely clever woman, who could do a 
great deal more than just drive in a coach. She took her great 
golden scissors, cut up a piece of silk, and made a pretty little bag 
of it. This she filled with the finest buckwheat grains, and tied it 
round the Prmcess' neck ; this done, she cut a little hole in the bag, 
so that the grains would strew the whole road wherever the Princess 
went. 

In the night the dog came again, took the Princess on his back 
and ran away with her to the Soldier, who was very mueh in love 
with her, and would have liked to have been a Prince, so that he 
might have had her for his wife. 

The dog did not notice how the grains were strewn right from 



THE TINDEB-BOX 



271 



the castle to the Soldier's window, where- he ran up the wall with 
the Princess. 

In the morning the King and the Queen saw plainly where 




' lie was skipping along so merrily ' 

their daughter had been, and they took the Soldier and put him into 
prison. 

told him: « To-morrow you are to he hanged;' Hearing that did 



272 THE TINDER-BOX 

not exactly cheer him, and he had left his tinder-box in the 
inn. 

Next morning he could see through the iron grating in front of 
his little window how the people were hurrying out of the town to 
see him hanged. He heard the drums and saw the soldiers march- 
ing ; all the people were running to and fro. Just below his window 
was a shoemaker's apprentice, with leather apron and shoes ; he 
was skipping along so merrily that one of his shoes flew off and 
fell against the wall, just where the Soldier was sitting peeping 
through the iron grating. 

' Oh, shoemaker's boy, you needn't be in such a hurry ! ' said 
the Soldier to him. ' There's nothing going on till I arrive. But 
if you will run back to the house where I lived, and fetch me my 
tinder-box, I will give you four shillings. But you must put your 
best foot foremost.' 

The shoemaker's boy was very willing to earn four shillings, and 
fetched the tinder-box, gave it to the Soldier, and — yes— now you 
shall hear. 

Outside the town a great scaffold had been erected, and all round 
were standing the soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of people. 
The King and Queen were sitting on a magnificent throne opposite 
the judges and the whole council. 

The Soldier was already standing on the top of the ladder ; but 
when they wanted to put the rope round his neck, he said that the 
fulfilment of one innocent request was always granted to a poor 
criminal before he underwent his punishment. lie would so much 
like to smoke a small pipe of tobacco ; it would be his last pipe in 
this world. 

The King could not refuse him this, and so he took out his 
tinder-box, and rubbed it once, twice, three times. And lo, and 
behold ! there stood all three dogs — the one with eyes as large as 
saucers, the second with eyes as large as mill-wheels, and the third 
with eyes each as large as the Bound Tower of Copenhagen. 

' Help me now, so that I may not be hanged ! ' cried the Soldier. 
And thereupon the dogs fell upon the judges and the whole council, 
seized some by the legs, others by the nose, and threw them so high 
into the air that they fell and were smashed into pieces. 

' I won't stand this ! ' said the King ; but the largest dog seized 
him too, and the Queen as well, and threw them up after the others. 
This frightened the soldiers, and all the people cried: 'Good 
Soldier, you shall be our King, and marry the beautiful Princess ! ' 



THE TINDER-BOX 273 

'Then they put the Soldier into fhe King's coach, and the three 
dogs danced in front, crying ' Hurrah ! ' And the boys whistled 
and the soldiers presented arms. 

The Trincess came out of the copper castle, and became Queen ; 
and that pleased her very much. 

The wedding festivities lasted for eight days, and the dogs sat at 
table and made eyes at everyone. 



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S74 



THE WITCH IN THE STONE BOAT l 

HVHEEE were ODce a King and a Queen, and they had a son called 
J- Sigurd, who was very strong and active, and good-looking. 
When the King came to be bowed down with the weight of years 
he spoke to his son, and said that now it was time for him to look 
out for a fitting match for himself, for he did not know how long 
he might last now, and he would like to see him married before he 
died. 

Sigurd was not averse to this, and asked his father where he 
thought it best to look for a wife. The King answered that in 
a certain country there was a King who had a beautiful daughter, 
and he thought it would be most desirable if Sigurd could get 
her. So the two parted, and Sigurd prepared for the journey, 
and went to where his father had directed him. 

He came to the King and asked his daughter's hand, which 
he readily granted him, but only on the condition that he should 
remain there as long as he could, for the King himself was not strong 
and not very able to govern his kingdom. Sigurd accepted this 
condition, but added that he would have to get leave to go home 
again to his own country when he heard news of his father's death. 
After that Sigurd married the Trmcess, and helped his father in- 
law to govern the kingdom. He and the Princess loved each other 
dearly, and after a year a son came to them, who was two years 
old when word came to Sigurd that his father was dead. Sigurd 
now prepared to return home with his wife and child, and went on 
board ship to go by sea. 

They had sailed for several days, when the breeze suddenly fell, 
and there came a dead calm, at a time when they needed only one 
day's voyage to reach home. Sigurd and his Queen were one day 
on deck, when most of the others on the ship had fallen asleep. 
There they sat and talked for a while, and had their little son along 
- FrtmtLelcekrialc. 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE WITCH IN THE STONE BOAT 275 

with them. After a time Sigurd became so heavy with sleep that 
he could no longer keep awake, so he went below and lay down, 
leaving the Queen alone on the deck, playing with her son. 

A good while after Sigurd had gone below the Queen saw some- 
thing black on the sea, which seemed to be coming nearer. As it 
approached she could make out that it was a boat, and could see 
the figure of some one sitting in it and rowing it. At last the boat 
came alongside the ship, and now the Queen saw that it was a stone 
boat, out of which there came up on board the ship a fearfully ugly 
Witch. The Queen was more frightened than words can describe, 
and could neither speak a word nor move from the place so as to 
awaken the King or the sailors. The Witch came right up to the 
Queen, took the child from her and laid it on the deck ; then she 
took the Queen, and stripped her of all her fine clothes, which she 
proceeded to put on herself, and looked then like a human being. 
Last of all she took the Queen, put her into the boat, and said — 

' This spell I lay upon you, that you slacken not your course 
until you come to my brother in the Underworld.' 

The Queen sat stunned and motionless, but the boat at once 
shot away from the ship with her, and before long she was out of 
sight. 

When the boat could no longer be seen the child began to cry, 
and though the Witch tried to quiet it she could not manage it ; so 
she went below to where the King was sleeping with the child on 
her arm, and awakened him, scolding him for leaving them alone 
on deck, while he and all the crew were asleep. It was great care- 
lessness of him, she said, to leave no one to watch the ship with her. 
Sigurd was greatly surprised to hear his Queen scold him so 
much, for she had never said an angry word to him before ; but he 
thought it was quite excusable in this case, and tried to quiet the 
child along with her, but it was no use. Then he went and 
wakened the sailors, and bade them hoist the sails, for a breeze had 
sprung up and was blowing straight towards the harbour. • 

They soon reached the land which Sigurd was to rule over, and 
found all the people sorrowful for the old King's death, but they 
became glad when they got Sigurd back to the Court, and made him 
King over them. 

The King's son, however, hardly ever stopped crying from the 
time he had been taken from his mother on the deck of the ship, 
although he had always been such a good child before, so that at 
last the King had to get a nurfce for hmi ouO bt ilhe maids of the 



276 THE WITCH IN THE STONE BOAT 

Court. As soon as the child got into her charge he stopped crying, 
and behaved well as before. 

After the sea-voyage it seemed to the King that the Queen had 
altered very much in many ways, and not for the better. He 
thought her much more haughty and stubborn and difficult to deal 
with than she used to be. Before long others began to notice this 
as well as the King. In the Court there were two young fellows, 
one of eighteen years old, the other of nineteen, who were very fond 
of playing chess, and often sat long inside playing at it. Their 
room was next the Queen's, and often during the day they heard 
the Queen talking. 

One day they paid more attention than usual when they heard 
her talk, and put their ears close to a crack in the wall between the 
rooms, and heard the Queen say quite plainly, * When I yawn a 
little, then I am a nice little maiden ; when I yawn half-way, then 
I am half a troll ; and when I yawn fully, then I am a troll 
altogether.' 

As she said this she yawned tremendously, and in a moment 
had put on the appearance of a fearfully ugly troll. Then there 
came up through the floor of the room a three-headed Giant with a 
trough full of meat, who saluted her as his sister and set down the 
trough before her. She began to eat out of it, and never stopped 
till she had finished it. The young fellows saw all this going on, 
but did not hear the two of them say anything to each other. 
They were astonished though at how greedily the Queen devoured 
the meat, and how much she ate of it, and were no longer surprised 
that she took so little when she sat at table with the King. As 
soon as she had finished it the Giant disappeared with the trough 
by the same way as he had come, and the Queen returned to her 
human shape. 

Now we must go back to the King's son after he had been put 
in charge of the nurse. One evening, after she had lit a candle 
and was holding the child, several planks sprang up in the floor of 
the room, and out at the opening came a beautiful woman dressed 
in white, with an iron belt round her waist, to which was fastened 
an iron chain that went down into the ground. The woman came 
up to the nurse, took the child from her, and pressed it to her 
breast ; then she gave it back to the nurse and returned by the 
same way as she had come, and the floor closed over her again. 
Although the woman had not spoken a single word. to her, the nurse 
was very much frightened, but told no one about it. 




£iQurd hews the chain, asun der 

U ■ ■■ ii ii ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ — ■ ■ -» 



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THE WITCH IN THE STONE BOAT 277 

Next evening the same thing happened again, just as before, but 
as the woman was going away she said in a sad tone, ' Two are gone, 
and one only is left,' and then disappeared as before. The nurse 
was still more frightened when she heard the woman say this, and 
thought that perhaps some danger was hanging over the child, 
though she had no ill-opinion of the unknown woman, who, indeed, 
had behaved towards the child as if it wet*e her own. The most 
mysterious thing was the woman saying * and only one is left;' but 
the nurse guessed that this must mean that only one day was left, 
Bince she had come for two days already. 

At last the nurse made up her mind to go to the King, and told 
him the whole story, and asked him to be present in person next 
day about the time when the woman usually came. The King 
promised to do so, and came to the nurse's room a little before the 
time, and sat down on a chair with his drawn sword in his hand. 
Soon after the planks in the floor sprang up as before, and the 
woman came up, dressed in white, with the iron belt and chain. 
The King saw at once that it was his own Queen, and immediately 
hewed asunder the iron chain that was fastened to the belt. This 
was followed by such noises and crashings down in the earth that 
all the King's Palace shook, so that no one expected anything else 
than to see every bit of it shaken to pieces. At last, however, the 
noises and shaking stopped, and they began to come to themselves 
again. 

The King and Queen embraced each other, and she told him 
the whole story — how the Witch came to the ship when they were 
all asleep and sent her off in the boat. After she had gone so far 
that she could not see the ship, she sailed on through darkness until 
she landed beside a three-headed Giant. The Giant wished her to 
marry him, but she refused ; whereupon he shut her up by herself, 
and told her she would never get free until she consented. After a 
time she began to plan how to get her freedom, and at last told 
him that she would consent if he would allow her to visit her son 
on earth three days on end. This he agreed to, hut put on her 
this iron belt and chain, the other end of which he fastened round 
his own waist, and the great noises that were heard when the King 
cut the chain must have been caused by the Giant's falling down the 
underground passage when the chain gave way so suddenly. The 
Giant's dwelling, indeed, was right under the Palace, and the 

terrible ^^ n 0jWj^ z ^ G ^ e p v ff^j^^Yf h ^ 11 in hia deftth " 
throes. 



278 THE WITCH IN THE STONE BOAT 

The King now understood how the Queen he had had for some 
time past had been so ill-tempered. He at once had a sack drawn 
over her head and made her be stoned to death, and after that torn 
in pieces by untamed horses. The two young fellows also told 
now what they had heard and seen in the Queen's room, for before 
this they had been afraid to say anything about it, on account of 
the Queen's power. 

The real Queen was now restored to all her dignity, and was 
beloved by all. The nurse was married to a nobleman, and the 
King and Queen gave her splendid presents. 



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279 



TIIUMBELINA 

THERE was once a woman who wanted to have quite a tiny, little 
child, but she did not know where to get one from. So ono 
day she went to an old Witch and said to her : 'I should so much 
like to have a tiny, little child ; can you tell me where I can get 
one?' 

' Oh, we have just got one ready ! ' said the Witch. ' Here is a 
barley-corn for you, but it's not the kind the farmer sows in his field, 
or feeds the cocks and hens with, I can tell you. Put it in a flower- 
pot, and then you will see something happen.' 

* Oh, thank 3*ou ! ' said the woman, and gave the Witch a shilling, 
for that was what it cost. Then she went home and planted tho 
barley-corn ; immediately there grew out of it a large and beautiful 
flower, which looked like a tulip, but the petals were tightly closed 
as if it were still only a bud. 

' What a beautiful flower ! ' exclaimed the woman, and she 
kissed the red and yellow petals ; but as she kissed them the flower 
burst open. It was a real tulip, such as one can see any day ; but 
in the middle of the blossom, on the green velvety petals, sat a 
little girl, quite tiny, trim, and pretty. She was scarcely half a 
thumb in height ; so they called her Thumbelina. An elegnnt 
polished walnut-shell served Thumbelina as a cradle, the bine 
petals of a violet were her mattress, and a rose-leaf her coverlid. 
There she lay at night, bnt in the day-time she used to play about 
on the table ; hero tho woman had put a bowl, surrounded by a 
ring of flowers, with their stalks in water, in tho middle of which 
floated a great tulip pedal, and on this Thumbelina sat, anil sailed 
from one side of tho bowl to the other, rowing herself with two 
white horse-hairs for oars. It was such a pretty sight ! She could 
sing, too, with a voice more soft and sweet than had ever been heard 
before. 

One night, when alio was* Tyiiie in her protty little bed, an old 

Y. Y 



280 



THUMBELINA 



toad crept in through a broken pane in the window. She was 
very ugly, clumsy, and clammy; she hopped on to the table where 
Thumbelina lay asleep under the red rose-leaf. 

1 This would make a beautiful wife for my son,' said the toad, 
taking up the walnut-shell, with Thumbelina inside, and hopping 
with it through the window into the garden. 

There flowed a great wide stream, with slippery and marshy 
banks ; here the toad lived with her son. Ugh 1 how ugly and 
clammy he was, just like his mother ! * Croak, croak, croak ! ' was 
all he could say when he saw the pretty little girl in the walnut - 
shell. 




c^g^Rg^ **y • 



1 Don't talk so loud, or you'll wake her,' said the old toad. ' She 
might escape us even now ; she is as light as a feather. "We will put 
her at once on a broad water-lily leaf in the stream. That will be 
quite an island for her ; she is so small and light. She can't run 
away from us there, whilst we are preparing the guest-chamber 
under the marsh where she shall live.' 

Outside in the brook grew many water-lilies, with broad green 
leaves, which looked as if they were swimming about on the water. 
The leaf farthest away was the largest, and to this the old toad swam 
with Thumbelina in her walnut-shell. 

The tiny Thumbelina woke up very early in the morning, and 



THUMBELINA 



281 



when she saw where she was Bhe began to cry bitterly; for on 
every side of the great green leaf was water, and she could not get 
to the land. 

The old toad was down under the marsh, decorating her room 
with rushes and yellow marigold leaves, to make it very grand for 
her new daughter-in-law ; then she swam out with her ugly son to 
the leaf where Thumbelina lay. She wanted to fetch the pretty 
cradle to put it into her room before Thumbelina herself came there. 
The old toad bowed low in the water before her, and said : ' Hero 
is my son ; you shall marry him, and live in great magnificence 
down under the marsh.' 











1 Croak, eroak, croak ! ' was all that the son could say. Then 
they took the neat little cradle and swam away with it ; but 
Thumbelina sat alone on the great green leaf and wept, for Bhe did 
not want to live with the clammy toad, or marry her ugly son. 
The little fishes swimming about under the water had seen the toad 
quite plainly, and heard what she had said; so they put up their 
heads to see the little girl. When they saw her, they thought her 
so pretty that they were very sorry Bho should go down with the 
ugly toad to live. No ; that must not happen. They assembled in 
the water round the green stalk which supported the leaf on which 
she was sitting, and nibbled the stem in two. Away floated the leaf 

v'2 



282 THUMBELINA 

down the stream, bearing Tlmmbelina far beyond the reach of the 
toad. 

On she sailed past several towns, and the little birds sitting in 
the bushes saw her, and sang, ' What a pretty little girl ! ' The 
leaf floated farther and farther away; thus Thumbelina left her 
native land. 

A beautiful little white butterfly fluttered above her, and at last 
settled on the leaf. Thumbelina pleased him, and she, too, was 
delighted, for now the toads could not reach her, and it was so 
beautiful where she was travelling ; the sun shone on the water and 
made it sparkle like the brightest silver. She took off her sash, and 
tied one end round the butterfly ; the other end she fastened to the 
leaf, so that now it glided along with her faster than ever. 

A great cockchafer came flying past; he caught sight of 
Thumbelina, and in a moment had put his arms round her slender 
waist, and had flown off with her to a tree. The green leaf floated 
away down the stream, and the butterfly with it, for he was fastened 
to the leaf and could not get loose from it. Oh, dear ! how terrified 
poor little Thumbelina was when the cockchafer flew off with her 
to the tree ! But she was especially distressed on the beautiful white 
butterfly's account, as she had tied him fast, so that if he could not 
get awaj T he must starve to death. But the cockchafer did not 
trouble himself about that ; he sat down with her on a large green 
leaf, gave her the honey out of the flowers to eat, and told her that 
she was very pretty, although she wasn't in the least like a cock- 
chafer. Later on, all the other cockchafers who lived in the same 
tree came to pay calls ; they examined Thumbelina closely, and 
remarked, ' Why, she has only tw T o legs ! How very miserable ! ' 

' She has no feelers ! ' cried another. 

4 How ugly she is ! ' said all the lady chafers — and yet Thumbelina 
was really very pretty. 

The cockchafer who had stolen her knew this very well ; but 
when he heard all the ladies saying she was ugly, he began to think 
so too, and would not keep her ; she might go wherever she liked. 
So he flew down from the tree with her and put her on a daisy. 
There she sat and wept, because she was so ugly that the cock- 
chafer would have nothing to do with her ; and yet she was the 
most beautiful creature imaginable, so soft and delicate, like the 
loveliest rose-leaf. 

The whole summer poor little Thumbelina lived alone in the 
great wood. She plaiteda bed for herself of blades of grass, and 



THUMBELINA 283 

hung it up under a clover-leaf, so that she was protected from the 
rain ; she gathered honey from the flowers for food, and drank the 
dew on the leaves every morning. Thus the suinmer and autumn 
passed, but then came winter — the long, cold winter. All the 
birds who had sung so sweetly about her had flown away ; the 
trees shed their leaves, the flowers died ; the great clover-leaf under 
which she had lived curled up, and nothing remained of it but the 
withered stalk. She was terribly cold, for her clothes were ragged, 
and she herself was so small and thin. Poor little Thumbelina ! 
she would surely bo frozen to death. It began to snow, and every 
snow-flake that fell on her was to her as a whole shovelful thrown 
on one of us, for we are so big, and she was only an inch high. She 
wrapt herself round in a dead leaf, but it was torn in the middle and 
gave her no warmth ; she was trembling with cold. 

Just outside the wood where she was now living lay a great 
corn-field. But the corn had been gone a long time ; only the dry, 
bare stubble was left standing in the frozen ground. This made a 
forest for her to wander about in. All at once she came across the 
door of a field-mouse, who had a little hole under a corn-stalk. 
There the mouse lived warm and snug, with a store-room full of 
corn, a splendid kitchen and dining-room. Poor little Thumbelina 
went up to the door and begged for a little piece of barley, for she 
had not had anything to eat for the last two days. 

' Boor little creature ! ' said the field-mouse, for she was a kind- 
hearted old thing at the bottom. ' Come into my warm room and 
have some dinner with me.' 

As Thumbelina pleased her, she said : : As far as I am concerned 
you may spend the winter with me ; but you must keep my room 
clean and tidy, and tell me stories, for I like that very much.' 

And Thumbelina did all that the kind old field-mouse asked, 
and did it remarkably well too. 

1 Now I am expecting a visitor,' said the field-mouse ; ' my 
neighbour comes to call on mo once a week. He is in better cir- 
cumstances than 1 am, has great, big rooms, and wears a fino 
black-velvet coat. If you could only marry him, you would be well 
provided for. But he is blind. You must tell him all the prettiest 
stories you know.' 

But Thumbelina did not trouble her head about him, for he was 
only a mole. lie came and paid them a visit in his black-velvet 

coat. Digitized by Microsoft ® 

* Ho is so rich and so accomplished,' the field-mouse told her. 



284 THUMBELINA 

' His house is twenty times larger than mine ; he possesses great 
knowledge, but he cannot bear the sun and the beautiful flowers, 
and speaks slightingly of them, for he has never seen them.' 

Thumbelina had to sing to him, so she sang 'Lady-bird, lady- 
bird, fly away home ! ' and other songs so prettily that the mole 
fell in love with her ; but he did not say anything, he was a very 
cautions man. A short time before he had dug a long passage 
through the ground from his own house to that of his neighbour ; 
in this he gave the field-mouse and Thumbelina permission to walk 
as often as they liked. But he begged them not to be afraid of the 
dead bird that lay in the passage : it was a real bird with beak and 
feathers, and must have died a little time ago, and now laid buried 
just where he had made his tunnel. The mole took a piece of 
rotten wood in his month, for that glows like fire in the dark, and 
went in front, lighting them through the long dark passage. When 
they came to the place where the dead bird lay, the mole put his broad 
nose against the ceiling and pushed a hole through, so that the day- 
light could shine down. In the middle of the path lay a dead swal- 
low, his pretty wings pressed close to his sides, his claws and head 
drawn under his feathers; the poor bird had evidently died of 
cold. Thumbelina was very sorry, for she was very fond of all 
little birds ; they had sung and twittered so beautifully to her all 
through the summer. But the mole kicked him with his bandy 
legs and said : 

* Now he can't sing any more ! It must be very miserable to 
be a little bird ! I'm thankful that none of my little children are ; 
birds always starve in winter.' 

'Yes, you speak like a sensible man,' said the field-mouse. 
* AYhat has a bird, in spite of all his singing, in the winter-time ? 
He must starve and freeze, and that must be very pleasant for 
him, I must say ! ' 

Thumbelina did not say anything ; but when the other two had 
passed on she bent down to the bird, brushed aside the feathers 
from his head, and kissed his closed eyes gently. ' Perhaps it was 
he that sang to me so prettily in the summer,' she thought. ' How 
much pleasure he did give me, dear little bird ! ' 

The mole closed up the hole again which let in the light, and 
then escorted the ladies home. Bat Thumbelina could not sleep 
that night ; so she got out of bed, and plaited a great big blanket of 
straw, and carried it off, and spread it over the dead bird, and piled 
upon it thistle-down as soft as cotton-wool, which she had found in 



THUMBELINA 



285 



the field-mouse's room, so that the poor little thing should lie 
warmly buried. 

' Farewell, pretty little bird ! ' she said. ' Farewell, and thank 
you for your beautiful songs in the summer, when the trees were 
green, and the sun shone down warmly on us ! ' Then she laid her 
head against the bird's heart. But the bird was not dead : he had 
been frozen, but now that she had warmed him, he was coming to 
life again. 

In autumn the swallows fly away to foreign lands ; but there 
are some who are late in starting, and then they get so cold that 
they drop dov;^ as if dead, and the snow comes and covers them 
over. 

Thumbelina trembled, she was so frightened ; for the bird was 




very large in comparison with herself — only an inch high. But she 
took courage, piled up the down more closely over the poor swallow, 
fetched her own coverlid and laid it over his head. 

Next night she crept out again to him. There he was alive, but 
very weak ; lie could only open his eyes for a moment and look nt 
Thumbelina, who was standing in front of him with a piece of 
rotten wood in her hand, for sho had no other lantern. 

4 Thank you, pretty little child ! ' said the swallow to her. '• I 
am so beautifully warm I Soon I shall regain my strength, and 
then I shall be able to fly out again into the warm sunshine.' 

• Oh ! ' she said, • it is very cold outside ; it is snowing and 
freezing ! stay in your warm bed ; I will take care of you ! ' 

Then she brought linn water in a petal, which he drank, after 



286 THUMBELINA 

which he related to her how he had torn one of his wings on a 
bramble, so that he conld not fly as fast as the other swallows, who 
had flow 11 far away to warmer lands. So at last he had dropped 
down exhausted, and then he could remember no more. The 
whole winter he remained down there, and Thumbelina looked 
after him and nursed him tenderly. Neither the mole nor the 
field-mouse learnt anything of this, for they could not bear the 
poor swallow. 

When the spring came, and the sun warmed the earth again, 
the swallow said farewell to Thumbelina, who opened the hole in 
the roof for him which the mole had made. The sun shone 
brightly down upon her, and the swallow asked her if she would go 
with him ; she could sit upon his back. Thumbelina wanted very 
much to fly far away into the green wood, but she knew that the 
old field- mouse would be sad if she ran away. * No, I mustn't 
come ! ' she said. 

* Farewell, dear good little girl 1 ' said the swallow, and flew off 
into the sunshine. Thumbelina gazed after him with the tears 
standing in her eyes, for she was very fond of the swallow. 

* Tweet, tweet ! ' sang the bird, and flew into the green wood. 
Thumbelina was very unhappy. She was not allowed to go out 
into the warm sunshine. The corn which had been sowed in the 
field over the field-mouse's home grew up high into the air, and 
made a thick forest for the poor little girl, who was only an inch 
high. 

* Now you are to be a bride, Thumbelina ! ' said the field-mouse, 
* for our neighbour has proposed for you ! What a piece of fortune 
for a poor child like 3^011 1 Now you must set to work at your linen 
for your dowry, for nothing must be lacking if you are to become 
the wife of our neighbour, the mole ! ' 

Thumbelina had to spin all day long, and every evening the 
mole visited her, and told her that when the summer was over the 
sun would not shine so hot ; now it was burning the earth as hard 
as a stone. Yes, when the summer had passed, they would keep 
the wedding. 

But she was not at all pleased about it, for she did not like the 
stupid mole. Every morning when the sun was rising, and every 
evening when it was setting, she would steal out of the house-door, 
and when the breeze parted the ears of corn so that she could see 
the blue sky through them, she thought how bright and beautiful it 
must be outside, and longed to see her dear swallow again. But 



THUHBELINA 



287 



ho never carne ; no doubt ho had flown away far into tho great 
green wood. 

By the autumn Thumbelina had finished the dowry. 

'In four weeks you will be married!' said the field-mouse: 
' don't be obstinate, or I shall bite you with my sharp white teeth 1 
You will get a fine husband ! The King himself has not such a 
velvet coat. His store-room and cellar are full, and you should be 
thankful for that.' 

Well, the wedding-day arrived. The mole had come to fetch 
Thumbelina to live with him deep down under the ground, never to 




come out into the warm sun again, for that was what lie didn't 
like. The poor little girl was very sad ; for now she must say 
good-bye to the beautiful sun. 

* Farewell, bright sun ! ' she cried, stretching out her arms 
towards it, and taking another step outside tho house ; for now the 
corn had been reaped, and only the dry stubble was left standing. 
* Farewell, farewell 1 ' she said, and put her arms round a little red 
flower that grew there. ' Give my love to the dear swallow when 
you see him ! ' 

* Tweet, tweet ! ' sounded in her car all at once. Sho looked up. 
There was the swaUow Jlymq past ! As soon as he.fow Thumbelina, 
he was very glad. She told him how unwilling she was to marry 



288 THUMBELINA 

the ugly mole, as then she had to live underground where the* sun 
never shone, and she could not help bursting into tears. 

* The cold winter is coming now,' said the swallow. * I must fly 
away to warmer lands : will yon come with me ? You can sit on 
my back, and we will fly far away from the ugly mole and his dark 
house, over the mountains, to the warm countries where the sun 
shines more brightly than here, where it is always summer, and 
there are always beautiful flowers. Do come with me, dear little 
Thumbelina, who saved my life when I lay frozen in the dark 
tunnel ! ' 

'Yes, I will go with you,' said Thumbelina, and got on the 
swallow's back, with her feet on one of his outstretched wings. Up 
he flew into the air, over woods and seas, over the great mountains 
where the snow is always lying. And if she was cold she crept 
under his warm feathers, only keeping her little head out to admire 
all the beautiful things in the world beneath. At last they came 
to warm lands ; there the sun was brighter, the sky seemed twice 
as high, and in the hedges hung the finest green and purple grapes ; 
in the woods grew oranges and lemons: the air was scented with 
myrtle and mint, and on the roads were pretty little children 
running about and playing with great gorgeous butterflies. But 
the swallow flew on farther, and it became more and more 
beautiful. Under the most splendid green trees besides a blue 
lake stood a glittering white- marble castle. Vines hung about the 
high pillars ; there were many swallows' nests, and in one of these 
lived the swallow who was carrying Thumbelina. 

' Here is my house ! ' said he. 'But it won't do for you 
to live with me ; I am not tidy enough to please you. Find a 
home for yourself in one of the lovely flowers that grow down 
there ; now I will set you down, and you can do whatever you 
like.' 

' That will be splendid ! ' said she, clapping her little hands. 

There lay a great white marble column which had fallen to 
the ground and broken into three pieces, but between these grew 
the most beautiful white flowers. The swallow flew down with 
Thumbelina, and set her upon one of the broad leaves. But there, 
to her astonishment, she found a tiny little man sitting in the 
middle of the flower, as white and transparent as if he were made 
of glass ; he had the prettiest golden crown on his head, and the 
most beautifnl wings on his shoulders ; he himself was no bigger 
than Thumbelina. He was the spirit of the flower. In each 



THUMBELINA 



280 



blossom there dwelt a tiny man or woman ; but this one was the 
King over the others. 

' How handsome he is ! ' whispered Thumbelina to the swallow. 

The little Prince was very much frightened at the swallow- for 
in comparison with one so tiny as himself he seemed a giant. But 
when he saw Thumbelina, he was delighted, for she was the most 
beautiful girl he had ever seen. So he took hi? golden crown from 




off his head and put it on hers, asking her her name, and if she 
would be his wife, and then she would be Queen of all the ilowers. 
Yes ! he was n different kind of husband to the son of tho toad and 
the mole with the black-velvet coat. So she said ' Yes ' to the noblo 
Prince. And out of each ilower came a lady and gentleman, each 
to tiny and pretty that it was a pleasure to see them. Each brought 
Thumbelina a present, but the best of all was a beautiful pair of 



290 THUMBELINA 

wings which were fastened on to her back, and now she too could 
fly from flower to flower. They all wished her joy, and the swallow 
sat above in his nest and sang the wedding march, and that he did 
as well as he could ; but he was sad, because he was very fond of 
ThumbeHna and did not want to be separated from her. 

' You shall not be called ThumbeHna ! ' said the spirit of the 
flower to her ; ' that is an ugly name, and you are much too pretty 
for that. "We will call yoii May Blossom.' 

' Farewell, farewell ! ' said the little swallow with a heavy heart, 
and flew away to farther lands, far, far away, right back to 
Denmark. There he had a little nest above a window, where his 
wife lived, who can tell fairy-stories. ' Tweet, tweet ! ' he sang to 
her. And that is the way we learnt the whole story. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



291 



THE NIGHTINGALE 

IN China, as 1^ daresay you know, the Emperor is a Chinaman, 
and all his courtiers are also Chinamen. The story I am going 
to tell you happened many years ago, but it is worth while for you 
to listen to it, before it is forgotten. 

The Emperor's Palace was the most splendid in the world, all 
made of priceless porcelain, but so brittle and delicate that you had 
to take great care how you touched it. In the garden were the 
most beautiful flowers, and on the loveliest of them were tied silver 
bells which tinkled, so that if yon passed you could not help looking 
at the flowers. Everything in the Emperor's garden was admirably 
arranged with a view to effect ; and the garden was so large that 
even the gardener himself did not know where it ended. If yon 
ever got beyond it, you came to a stately forest with great trees 
and deep lakes in it. The forest sloped down to the sea, which was 
a clear blue. Large ships could sail under the boughs of the trees, 
and in these trees there lived a Nightingale. She sang so beauti- 
fully that even the poor fisherman who had so much to do stood 
and listened when he came at night to cast his nets. * How 
beautiful it is ! ' he said ; but he had to attend to his work, and 
forgot about the bird. But when she sang the next night and the 
fisherman came there again, he said the same thing, * II ow beautiful 
it is ! ' 

From all the countries round came travellers to tho Emperor's 
town, who were astonished at the Palace and the garden. lint 
when they heard tho Nightingale they all said, ' This is the finest 
thing after all ! ' 

The travellers told all about it when they went home, and 
learned scholars wrote many books upon tho town, the Palace, and 
the garden. But they did not forget the Nightingale; sho was 
praised the most, and all the poets composed splendid verses on the 
Nightingale in the-forest by the deep sea 



292 THE NIGHTINGALE 

The books were circulated throughout the world, and some of 
them reached the Emperor. He sat in his golden chair, and read 
and read. He nodded his head every moment, for he liked reading 
the brilliant accounts of the town, the Palace, and the garden. ' But 
the Nightingale is better than all,' he saw written. 

' What is that ? ' said the Emperor. ' I don't know anything 
about the Nightingale ! Is there such a bird in my empire, and so 
near as in my garden ? I have never heard it ! Fancy reading 
for the first time about it in a book ! ' 

And he called his First Lord to him. He was so proud that if 
anyone of lower rank than his own ventured to speak to him or ask 
him anything, he would say nothing but ' P ! ' and that does not 
mean anything. 

' Here is a most remarkable bird which is called a Nightingale ! ' 
said the Emperor. * They say it is the most glorious thing in my 
kingdom. Why has no one ever said anything to me about it ? ' 

* I have never before heard it mentioned ! ' said the First Lord. 
' I will look for it and find it ! ' 

But where was it to be found ? The First Lord ran up and 
down stairs, through the halls and corridors ; but none of those he 
met had ever heard of the Nightingale. And the First Lord ran 
again to the Emperor, and told him that it must be an invention 
on the part of those who had written the books. 

' Your Imperial Majesty cannot really believe all that is written! 
There are some inventions called the Black Art ! ' 

' But the book in which I read this,' said the Emperor, ' is sent 
me by His Great Majesty the Emperor of Japan ; so it cannot be 
untrue, and I will hear the Nightingale ! She must be here this 
evening! She has my gracious permission to appear, and if 
she does not, the whole Court shall be trampled under foot after 
supper ! ' 

' Tsing pe ! ' said the First Lord ; and he ran up and down stairs, 
through the halls and corridors, and half the Court ran with him, for 
they did not want to be trampled under foot. Everyone was asking 
after the wonderful Nightingale which all the world knew of, except 
those at Court. 

At last they met a poor little girl in the kitchen, who said, l Oh ! 
I know the Nightingale well. How she sings ! I have permission 
to carry the scraps over from the Court meals to my poor sick 
mother, and when I am going home at night, tired and weary, and 
rest for a little in the wood, then I hear the Nightingale singing! 



THE NIGHTINGALE 



293 



It brings tears to my eyes, and I feel as if nay mother were kissing 
me! * 

* Little kitchenmaid ! * said the First Lord, ' I will give you a 
place in the kitchen, and you shall have leave to see the Emperor at 




dinner, if you can lead us to the Nightingale, for she is invited to 
come to Court this evening.' 

And so they all went into tho wood whero the Nightingale was 
wont to sing, and half tho Court went too. 



294 THE NIGHTINGALE 

When they were on the way there they heard a cow mooing. 

' Oh ! ' said the Courtiers, ' now we have found her ! What a 
wonderful power for such a small beast to have ! I am sure we 
have heard her before ! ' 

' No ; that is a cow mooing^! ' said the little kitchenmaid. * We 
are still a long way off ! ' 

Then the frogs began to croak in the marsh. i Splendid ! ' said 
the Chinese chaplain. ' Now we hear her ; it soiuids like a little 
church -bell ! ' 

' No, no ; those are frogs ! ' said the little kitchenmaid. ' But I 
think we shall soon hear her now ! ' 

Then the Nightingale began to sing. 

4 There she is ! ' cried the little girl. ' Listen ! She is sitting 
there ! ' And she pointed to a little dark-grey bird up in the 
branches. 

' Is it possible ! ' said the First Lord. ' I should never have 
thought it ! How ordinary she looks ! She must surely have lost 
her feathers because she sees so many distinguished men round 
her ! ' 

* Little Nightingale,' called out the little kitchenmaid, ' our 
Gracious Emperor wants yon to sing before him ! ' 

' With the greatest of pleasure ! ' said the Nightingale ; and she 
sang so gloriously that it was a pleasure to listen. 

' It sounds like glass bells ! ' said the First Lord. ' And look 
how her little throat works ! It is wonderful that we have never 
heard her before ! She will be a great success at Court.' 

' Shall I sing once more for the Emperor ? ' asked the Nightingale, 
thinking that the Emperor was there. 

' My esteemed little Nightingale,' said the First Lord, ' I have 
the great pleasure to invite you to Court this evening, where His 
Gracious Imperial Highness will be enchanted with your charming 
song ! ' 

( It sounds best in the green wood,' said the Nightingale ; but 
still, she came gladly when she heard that the Emperor wished it. 
At the Palace everything was splendidly prepared. The porcelain 
walls and floors glittered in the light of many thousand gold lamps ; 
the most gorgeous flowers which tinkled out well were placed in 
the corridors. There was such a hurrying and draught that all the 
bells jingled so much that one could not hear oneself speak. In 
the centre of the great hall where the Emperor sat was a golden 
perch, on which the Nightingale sat. The whole Court was there, 



THE NIGHTINGALE 



295 



and the little kitchenmaitl was allowed to stand behind the door, 
now that she was a Court-cook. Everyone was dressed in his best, 
and everyone was looking towards the little grey bird to whom the 
Emperor nodded. 

The Nightingale sang so gloriously that the tears came into the 
Emperor's eyes and ran down his cheeks. Then the Nightingale 
sang even more beautifully; it went straight to all hearts. The 




Che. Present from 
th& Lmfjeror of Ja.£&n> 

Emperor was so delighted that he said she should wear his gold 
slipper round her neck. But the Nightingale thanked him, and 
said she had had enough reward already. * I have seen tears in 
the Emperor's eyes — that is a great reward. An Emperor's tears 
have such power ! ' Then she sang again with her gloriously sweet 
voice. 

1 That is the most charming coquetry I have ever seen ! * said 

Y. Z 



296 THE NIGHTINGALE 

all the ladies round. And they all took to holding water in their 
mouths that they might gurgle whenever anyone spoke to them. 
Then they thought themselves nightingales. Yes, the lackeys and 
chambermaids announced that they were pleased; which means a 
great deal, for they are the most difficult people of all to satisfy. In 
short, the Nightingale was a real success. 

She had to stay at Court now ; she had her own cage, and per- 
mission to walk out twice in the day and once at night. 

She was given twelve servants, who each held a silken string 
which was fastened round her leg. There was little pleasure in 
flying about like this. 

The whole town was talking about the wonderful bird, and when 
two people met each other one would say 4 Nightin,' and the other 
4 Gale,' and then they would both sigh and understand one another. 
Yes, and eleven grocer's children were called after her, but not one 
of them could sing a note. 

One day the Emperor received a large parcel on which was 
written ' The Nightingale.' 

( Here is another new book about our famous bird ! ' said the 
Emperor. 

But it was not a book, but a little mechanical toy, which lay in 
a box — an artificial nightingale which was like the real one, only 
that it was set all over with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. When 
it was wound up, it could sing the piece the real bird sang, and 
moved its tail up and down, and glittered with silver and gold. 
Bound its neck was a little collar on which was written, ' The 
Nightingale of the Emperor of Japan is nothing compared to that 
of the Emperor of China.' 

' This is magnificent ! ' they all said, and the man who had 
brought the clockwork bird received on the spot the title of ' Bringer 
of the Imperial First Nightingale.' 

' Now they must sing together ; what a duet we shall have ! ' 

And so they sang together, but their voices did not blend, for 
the real Nightingale sang in her way and the clockwork bird sang 
waltzes. 

' It is not its fault ! J said the bandmaster ; ' it keeps very good 
time and is quite after my style ! f 

Then the artificial bird had to sing alone. It gave just as much 
pleasure as the real one, and then it was so much prettier to look 
at ; it sparkled like bracelets and necklaces. Three-and-thirty 
times it sang the same piece without being tired. People would 



THE NIGHTINGALE 297 

like to have heard it again, but the Emperor thought that the living 
Nightingale should sing now — but where was she V No one had 
noticed that she had flown out of the open window away to her 
green woods. 

* What shall we do ! ' said the Emperor. 

And all the Court scolded, and said that the Nightingale was 
very ungrateful. ' But we have still the best bird ! ' they said ; 
and the artificial bird had to sing again, and that was the thirty- 
fourth time the}* had heard the same piece. But they did not 3 T et 
know it by heart ; it was much too difficult And the bandmaster 
praised the bird tremendously ; yes, lie assured them it was better 
than a real nightingale, not only because of its beautiful plumage 
and diamonds, but inside as well. * For see, my Lords and Ladies 
and your Imperial Majesty, with the real Nightingale one can never 
tell what will come out, but all is known about the artificial bird ! 
You can explain it, you can open it and show people where the 
waltzes lie, how they go, and how one follows the other!' 

' That's just what we think ! ' said everyone ; and the bandmaster 
received permission to show the bird to the people the next Sunday. 
They should hear it sing, commanded the Emperor. And they 
heard it, and they were as pleased as if they had been intoxicated 
with tea, after the Chinese fashion, and they all said * Oh ! ' and 
held up their forefingers and nodded time. But the poor fishermen 
who had heard the real Nightingale said : ' This one sings welL 
enough, the tunes glide out; but there is something wanting — 
I don't know what ! ' 

The real Nightingale was banished from the kingdom. 

The artificial bird was put on silken cushions by the Emperor's 
bed, all the presents which it received, gold and precious stones, lay 
round it, and it was given the title of Imperial Night-singer, First 
from the left. For the Emperor counted that side as the more 
distinguished, being the side on which the heart is; the Emperor's 
heart is also on the left. 

And the bandmaster wrote a work of twenty-five volumes about 
the artificial bird. It was so learned, long, and so full of the hardest 
Chinese words that everyone said they had read it and understood 
it; for once they had been very stupid about a book, and had been 
trampled under foot in consequence. So a whole year passed. The 
Emperor, the Court, and all the Chinese knew every note of tho 
artificial bird's song by heart, But they liked it all the better for 
this ; they could even sing with it, and they did. The street boys 

z 2 



298 THE NIGHTINGALE 

sang ' Tra-la-la-la-la,' and the Emperor sang too sometimes. It 
was indeed delightful. 

But one evening, when the artificial hird was singing its best, 
and the Emperor lay in bed listening to it, something in the bird 
went crack. Something snapped \ Whir-r-r ! all the wheels ran down 
and then the music ceased. The Emperor sprang up, and had his 
plrysician summoned, but what could he do ! Then the clockmaker 
came, and, after a great deal of talking and examining, he put the 
bird somewhat in order, but he said that it must be very seldom 
used as the works were nearly worn out, and it was impossible to 
put in new ones. Here was a calamity ! Only once a year was the 
artificial bird allowed to sing, and even that was almost too much 
for it. But then the bandmaster made a little speech full of hard 
words, saying that it was just as good as before. And so, of course, 
it was just as good as before. So five years passed, and then a 
great sorrow came to the nation. The Chinese look upon their 
Emperor as everything, and now he was ill, and not likely to live 
it was said. 

Already a new Emperor had been chosen, and the people stood 
outside in the street and asked the First Lord how the old Emperor 
was. ' P ! ' said he, and shook his head. 

Cold and pale lay the Emperor in his splendid great bed ; the 
whole Court believed him dead, and one after the other left him to 
pay their respects to the new Emperor. Everywhere in the halls 
and corridors cloth was laid down so that no footstep could be heard, 
and everything was still — very, very still. And nothing came to 
break the silence. 

The Emperor longed for something to come and relieve the 
monotony of this deathlike stillness. If only someone would speak 
to him ! If only someone would sing to him. Music would carry 
his thoughts away, and would break the spell lying on him. The 
moon was streaming in at the open window ; but that, too, was 
silent, quite silent. 

4 Music ! music ! ' cried the Emperor. ' You little bright golden 
bird, sing ! do sing ! I gave you gold and jewels ; I have hung my 
gold slipper round your neck with my own hand — sing! dosing!' 
But the bird was silent. There was no one to wind it up, and so 
it could not sing. And all was silent, so terribly silent ! 

All at once there came in at the window the most glorious burst 
of song. It was the little living Nightingale, who, sitting outside on 
a bough, had heard the need of her Emperor and had come to sing 



THE NIGHTINGALE 



299 



to him of comfort and hope. And as she sang the blood flowed 
quicker and quicker in the Emperor's weak limbs, and life began to 
return. 

' Thank you, thank you ! ' said the Emperor. ' You divine little 
bird ! I know you. I chased you from my kingdom, and you 
have given me life again ! How can I reward you ? ' 

* * You have done that already ! ' said the Nightingale. * 1 brought 
tears to your eyes the first time I sang. I shall never forget that. 
They are jewels that rejoice a singer's heart. But now sleep and 
get strong again ; I will sing you a lullaby.' And the Emperor fell 
into a deep, calm sleep as she sang. 




The true Nightingale sings to the Emperor 



The sun was shining through the window when he awoke, strong 
and well. None of his servants had come back yet, for they thought 
he was dead. But the Nightingale sat and sang to him. 

' You must always stay with me ! ' said the Emperor. * You 
shall sing whenever you like, and I will break the artificial bird 
into a thousand pieces.' 

* Don't do that ! ' said the Nightingale. * He did his work as 
long as he could. Keep him as you have done 1 I cannot build my 
nest in the Palace and livo here; but let me come whenever I like. 
1 will sit in the evening on the bough outside the window, and I will 
sing you something that will mako you feel happy and grateful, 
I will sing of joy, and of sorrow ; I will sing of the evil and the 



300 THE NIGHTINGALE 

good which lies hidden from you. The little singing-bird flies all 
around, to the poor fisherman's hut, to the farmer's cottage, to all 
those who are far away from you and your Court. I love your 
heart more than your crown, though that has about it a brightness 
as of something holy. ]S T ow I will sing to you again ; but you must 
promise me one thing ' 

' Anything ! ' said the Emperor, standing up in his Imperial 
robes, which he had himself put on, and fastening on his sword 
richly embossed with gold. 

' One thing I beg of you ! Don't tell anyone that you have a 
little bird who tells you everything. It will be much better not 
to ! ' Then the Nightingale flew away. 

The servants came in to look at their dead Emperor, 

The Emperor said, * Good-morning 1 ' 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



801 



HEBMOD AND HADVOR 



ONCE upon a time there were a King and a Queen who had an 
only daughter, called Hadvor, who was fair and beautiful, and 
being an only child, was heir to the kingdom. The King and Queen 
had also a foster son, named Hcrmod, who was just about the same 
age as Hadvor, and was good-looking, as well as clever at most 
things. Hermod and Hadvor often played together while they 
were children, and liked each other so much that while they were 
still young they secretly plighted their troth to each other. 

As time went on the Queen fell sick, and suspecting that it was 
her last illness, sent for the King to come to her. When ho came 
she told him that she had no long time to live, and therefore wished 
to ask one thing of him, which was, that if he married another wifo 
he should promise to take no other one than the Queen of Hetland the 
Good. The King gave the promise, and thereafter the Queen died. 

Time went past, and the King, growing tired of living alone, 
fitted out his ship and sailed out to sea. As he sailed there came 
upon him so thick a mist that he altogether lost his bearings, but 
after long trouble he found land. There he laid his ship to, and 
went on shore all alone. After walking for some time he came to 
a forest, into which he went a little way and stopped. Then he 
heard sweet music from a harp, and went in the direction of the 
sound until he came to a clearing, and there he saw three women, 
one of whom sat on a golden chair, and was beautifully and grandly 
dressed ; she held a harp in her hands, and was very sorrowful. 
The second was also finely dressed, but younger in appearance, and 
also sat on a chair, but it was not so grand as the first one's. The 
third stood beside them, and was very pretty to look at ; she had a 
green cloak over her other clothes, and it was easy to see that she 
was maid to the other two. 

After the King had looked at them for a little he went forward 

Digit .. ftora tl , e lcttodte ..»soft ® 



&02 HEEMOD AND HADVOR 

and saluted them. The one that sat on the golden chair asked him 
who he was and where he was going ; and he told her all the story 
— how he was a king, and had lost his queen, and was now on his 
way to Hetland the Good, to ask the Queen of that country in 
marriage. She answered that fortune had contrived this wonder- 
fully, for pirates had plundered Hetland and killed the King, and 
she had fled from the land in terror, and had come hither after 
great trouble, and she was the very person he was looking for, and 
the others were her daughter and maid. The King immediately 
asked her hand ; she gladly received his proposal and accepted 
him at once, Thereafter they all set out, and made their way to 
the ship ; and after that nothing is told of their voyage until the 
King reached his own country. There he made a great feast, and 
celebrated his marriage with this woman ; and after that things are 
quiet for a time. 

Hermod and Hadvor took but little notice of the Queen and her 
daughter, but, on the other hand, Hadvor and the Queen's maid, 
whose name was Olof, were very friendly, and Olof came often to 
visit Hadvor in her castle. Before long the King went out to war, 
and no sooner was he away than the Queen came to talk with 
Hermod, and said that she wanted him to marry her daughter. 
Hermod told her straight and plain that he would not do so, at 
which the Queen grew terribly angry, and said that in that case 
neither should he have Hadvor, for she would now lay this spell on 
him, that he should go to a desert island and there be a lion by day 
and a man by night. He should also think always of Hadvor, 
which would cause him all the more sorrow, and from this spell he 
should never be freed until Hadvor burned the lion's skin, and that 
would not happen very soon. 

As soon as the Queen had finished her speech Hermod replied 
that he also laid a spell on her, and that was, that as soon as he 
was freed from her enchantments she should become a rat and her 
daughter a mouse, and fight with each other in the hall until he 
killed them with his sword. 

After this Hermod disappeared, and no one knew what had 
become of him ; the Queen caused search to be made for him, but 
he could nowhere be found. One time, when Olof was in the castle 
beside Hadvor, she asked the Princess if she knew where Hermod 
had gone to. At this Hadvor became very sad, and said that she 

did not. Digitized by Microsoft® „ , 

'I shall tell you then,' said Olof, 'for I know all about it. 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



KE11M0D AND HADVOR 803 

Herinod has disappeared through the wicked devices of the Qneeii, 
for she is a witch, and so is her daughter, though they have put on 
these beautiful forms. Because Hermod would not fall in with tho 
Queen's plans, and marry her daughter, sho has laid a spell on him, 
to go on an island and be a lion by day and a man by night, and 
never be freed from this until yon burn the lion's skin. Besides,' 
said Olof, ' she has looked out a match for yon ; she has a brother 
in the Underworld, a three-headed Giant, whom she means to turn 
into a beautiful prince and get him married to yon. This is no new 
thing for the Queen ; she took me away from my parents' house 
and compelled me to serve her ; but she has never done me any 
harm, for the green cloak I wear protects me against all mischief.' 
Hadvor now became still sadder than before at the thought of 
the marriage destined for her, and entreated Olof to think of some 
plan to save her. 

4 1 think,' said Olof, * that your wooer will eome up through the 
floor of the castle to you, and so you must be prepared when you 
hear the noise of his coming and the floor begins to open, and have 
at hand blazing pitch, and pour plenty of it into the opening. That 
will prove too much for him.' 

About this time the King came home from his expedition, and 
thought it a great blow that no one knew what had become of 
Hermod ; but the Queen consoled him as best she could, and after 
a time the King thought less about his disappearance. 

Hadvor remained in her castle, and had made preparations to 
receive her wooer when he came. One night, not long after, a lund 
noise and rumbling was heard under the castle. Hadvor at once 
guessed what it was, and told her maids to be ready to help her. 
The noise and thundering grew louder and louder, until the floor 
began to open, whereupon Hadvor made them take the caldron of 
pitch and pour plenty of it into tho opening. With that the noises 
grew fainter and fainter, till at last they ceased altogether. 

Next morning tho Queen rose early, and went out to the Talace 
gate, and there she found her brother the Giant lying dead, She 
went nj) to him and said, ' I pronounce this spell, that yon become 
a beautiful prince, and that Hadvor shall be unable to say anything 
against the charges that I shall bring against her.' 

The body of the dead Giant now became that of a beautiful 
prince, and the Queen went in again. 

1 1 don't think, 1 said sho to the King, ' that your daughter is as 
good as she is said to be. My brother came and asked her hand, 



304 HEBMOD AND HADVOR 

and she has had him put to death. I have just found his dead body 
lying at the Palace gate.' 

The King went along with the Queen to see the body, and 
thought it all very strange ; so beautiful a youth, he said, would 
have been a worthy match for Hadvor, and he would readily have 
agreed to their marriage. The Queen asked leave to decide what 
Hadvor's punishment should be, which the King was very willing 
to allow, so as to escape from punishing his own daughter. The 
Queen's decision was that the King should make a big grave -mound 
for her brother, and put Hadvor into it beside him. 

Olof knew all the plans of the Queen, and went to tell the 
Princess what had been done, whereupon Hadvor earnestly entreated 
her to tell her what to do. 

' First and foremost,' said Olof, ' you must get a wide cloak to 
wear over your other clothes, when you are put into the mound. 
The Giant's ghost will walk after you are both left together in there, 
and he will have two dogs along with him. He will ask you to cut 
pieces out of his legs to give to the dogs, but that you must not 
promise to do unless he tells you where Hermod has gone to, and 
tells you how to find him. He will then let you stand on his 
shoulders, so as to get out of the mound ; but he means to cheat 
you all the same, and will catch you by the cloak to pull you back 
again ; but you must take care to have the cloak loose on your 
shoulders, so that he will only get hold of that.' 

The mound was all ready now, and the Giant laid in it, and 
into it Hadvor a,lso had to go without being allowed to make any 
defence. After they were both left there everything happened just 
as Olof had said. The prince became a Giant again, and asked 
Hadvor to cut the pieces out of his legs for the dogs ; but she 
refused until he told her that Hermod w r as in a desert island, which 
she could not reach unless she took the skin off the soles of his feet 
and made shoes out of that ; with these shoes she could travel both 
on land and sea. This Hadvor now did, and the Giant then let her 
get up on his shoulders to get out of the mound. As she sprang 
out he caught hold of her cloak ; but she had taken care to let it lie 
loose on her shoulders, and so escaped. 

She now made her way down to the sea, to where she knew 
there was the shortest distance over to the island in which Hermod 
was. This strait she easily crossed, for the shoes kept her up. On 
reaching the island she found a sandy beach all along by the sea, 
and high cliffs above. Nor could she see any way to get up these, 



HEEMOD AND HADVOIt 305 

and so, being both sad at heart and tired with the long journey, she 
lay down and fell asleep. As she slept she dreamed that a tall 
woman came to her and said, 'I know that you are Princess 
Hadvor, and are searching for Hermod. He is on this island ; but 
it will be hard for you to get to him if you have no one to help you, 
for you cannot climb the cliffs by your own strength. I have 
therefore let down a rope, by which you will be able to climb up ; 
and as the island is so large that you might not find Hermod's 
dwelling-place so easily, I lay down this clew beside you. You 
need only hold the end of the thread, and the clew will run on 
before and show you the way. I also lay tlrs belt beside you, to 
put on when you awaken ; it will keep you from growing faint with 
hunger.' 

The woman now disappeared, and Hadvor woke, and saw that 
all her dream had been true. The rope hung down from the cliff, 
and the clew and belt lay beside her. The belt she put on, the rope 
enabled her to climb up the cliff, and the clew led her on till she 
came to the mouth of a cave, which was not very big. She went 
into the cave, and saw there a low couch, under which she crept 
and lay down. 

When evening came she heard the noise of footsteps outside, and 
became aware that the lion had come to the month of the cave, and 
shook itself there, after which she heard a man coming towards the 
couch. She was sure this was Ilermod, because she heard him 
speaking to himself about his own condition, and calling to mind 
Hadvor and other tilings in the old days. Hadvor made no sign, 
but waited till he had fallen asleep, and then crept out and burned 
the lion's skin, which he had left outside. Then she went back 
into the cave and wakened Hermod, and they had a most joyful 
meeting. 

In the morning they talked over their plans, and were most at 
a loss to know how to get out of the island. Hadvor told Hermod 
her dream, and said she suspected there was some one in the island 
who would be able to help them. Hermod said he knew of a Witch 
there, who was very ready to help anyone, and that the only plan 
was to go to her. So they went to the Witch's cave, and found 
her there with her fifteen young sons, and asked her to help them 
to get to the mainland. 

* There are other things easier than that,' said she, * for the Giant 
that was buried will )>e waiting for you, and will attack yon on 
the way, as he has turned imn'sclf into a Lig whale, 1 shall lend 



306 



HEBMOD AND HADVOB 



you a boat, however, and if you meet the whale and think your 
lives are in danger, then you can name me by name,' 




They thanked her greatly for her help and advice, and set out 
from the island, but on the way they saw a huge iish coming to- 
wards them, with great splashing and dashing of waves. They 



IIERMOD AND HADVOB 307 

were sure of what it was, and thought they had as good reason as 
ever they would have to call on the Witch, and so they did. The 
next minute they saw coming after them another huge whale, 
followed by fifteen smaller ones. All of these swam past the boat 
and went on to meet the whale. There was a fierce battle then, 
and the sea became so stormy that it was not very easy to keep the 
boat from being filled by the waves. After this fight had gone on 
for some time, they saw that the sea was dyed with blood ; the big 
whale and the fifteen smaller ones disappeared, and they got to land 
safe and sound. 

Now the story goes back to the King's hall, where strange things 
had happened in the meantime. The Queen and her daughter had 
disappeared, but a rat and a mouse were always fighting with each 
other there. Ever so many people had tried to drive them away, 
but no one could manage it. Thus some time went on, while the 
King was almost beside himself with sorrow and care for the loss 
of his Queen, and because these monsters destroyed all mirth in the 
hall. 

One evening, however, while they all sat dull and down-hearted, 
in came Ilermod with a sword by his side, and saluted the King, 
who received him with the greatest joy, as if he had come back 
from the dead. Before Ilermod sat down, however, he went to 
where the rat and the mouse were fighting, and cut them in two 
with his sword. All were astonished then by seeing two witches 
lying dead on the iloor of the hall. 

Ilermod now told the whole story to the King, who was very 
glad to be rid of such vile creatures. Next ho asked for the hand 
of Hadvor, which the King readily gave him, and being now an o ] d 
man, gave the kingdom to him as well ; and so Ilermod becamo 
King. 

Olof. married a good-looking nobleman, and that is the end of 
the story. 



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303 



THE STEADFAST TIN-SOLDIER 



THERE were once upon a time five-and-twenty tin -soldiers — all 
brothers, as they were made out of the same old tin spoon. 
Their uniform was red and blue, and they shouldered their guns 
and looked straight in front of them. The first words that they 
heard in this world, when the lid of the box in which they lay was 
taken off, were : ' Hurrah, tin -soldiers ! ' This was exclaimed by 
a little boy, clapping his hands ; they had been given to him because 
it was his birthday, and now he began setting them out on the 
table. Each soldier was exactly like the other in shape, except just 
one, who had been made last when the tin had run short ; but there 
he stood as firmly on his one leg as the others did on two, and he 
is the one that became famous. 

There were many other playthings on the table on which they 
were being set out, but the nicest of all was a pretty little castle 
made of cardboard, with windows through which you could see into 
the rooms. In front of the castle stood some little trees surround- 
ing a tiny miiror which looked like a lake. Wax swans were floating 
about and reflecting themselves in it. That was all very pretty ; 
but the most beautiful thing was a little lady, who stood in the open 
doorway. She was cut out of paper, but she had on a dress of the 
finest muslin, with a scarf of narrow blue ribbon round her shoulders, 
fastened in the middle with a glittering rose made of gol<i paper, 
which was as large as her head. The little lady was stretching out 
both her arms, for she was a Dancer, and was lifting up one leg so 
high in the air that the Tin-soldier couldn't find it anywhere, and 
thought that she, too, had only one leg, 

'That's the wife for me ! ' he thought ; ' but she is so grand, and 
lives in a castle, whilst I have only a box with four-and-twenty 
others. This is no place for her ! But I must make her acquaint- 
ance.' Then he stretched himself out behind a snuff-box that lay 
on the table; from thence he could watch the dainty little lady, 
who continued to stand on one leg without losing her balance. 



THE STEADFAST TIN-SOLDIER 



309 



When the night came all the other tin-soldiers went into their 
box, and the people of the honse went to bed. Then the toys began 
to play at visiting, dancing, and fighting. The tin-soldiers rattled in 
their box, for they wanted to be out too, but they could not raise the 
lid. The nut-crackers played at leap-frog, and the slate-pencil ran 
about the slate ; there was such a noise that the canary woke up 
and began to talk to them, in poetry too ! The only two who did 
not stir from their places were the Tin-soldier and the little Dancer. 
She remained on tip-toe, with both arms outstretched ; he stood 
steadfastly on his one leg, never moving his eyes from her face, 




The clock struck twelve, and crack ! off ilew the lid of the snuff- 
box ; but there was no snuff inside, only a little black imp that was 
the beauty of it. 

1 Hullo, Tin-soldier ! ' said the imp. ( Don't look at things that 
aren't intended for the likes of yon ! ' 

But the Tin-soldier took no notice, and seemed not to hear. 

* Very well, wait till to-morrow ! ' said the imp. 

When it was morning, and the children had got up, tho Tin- 
soldier was put in tho window ; and whether it was the wind or tho 
little black imp, I donH know, but all at once the window flow open 
y. \ a 



310 THE STEADFAST TIN-SOLDIER 

and out fell the little Tin-soldier, head over heels, from the third- 
storey window ! That was a terrible fall, I can tell you ! He 
landed on his head with his leg in the air, his gun being wedged 
between two paving-stones. 

The nursery-maid and the little boy came down at once to look 
for him, but, though they were so near him that they almost trod 
on him, they did not notice him. If the Tin-soldier had only called 
out ' Here I am!' they must have found him ; but he did not 
think it fitting for him to cry out, because he had on his uniform. 

Soon it began to drizzle ; then the drops came faster, and there 
was a regular down-pour. When it was over, two little street boys 
came along. 

' Just look ! ' cried one, ' Here is a Tin- soldier ! He shall sail up 
and down in a boat ! ' 




•DOWN -THE • DRAIN- 



So they made a little boat out of newspaper, put theTin- soldier in 
it, and made him sail up and down the gutter ; both the boys ran 
along beside him, clapping their hands. What great waves there 
were in the gutter, and what a swift current ! The paper-boat 
tossed up and down, and in the middle of the stream it went so 
quick that the Tin-soldier trembled; but he remained steadfast, 
showed no emotion, looked straight in front of him, shouldering his 
gun. All at once the boat passed under a long tunnel that was as 
dark as his box had been. 

' Where can I be coming now ? ' he wondered. * Oh, dear ! This 
is the black imp's fault ! Ah, if only the little lady were sitting 
beside me in the boat, it might be twice as dark for all I should 
care ! ' 



THE STEADFAST TIN-SOLBIEIl 311 

Suddenly there came along a great water-rat that lived in the 
tunnel. 

' Have you a passport ? ' asked the rat. ' Out with your pass- 
port ! ' 

But the Tin-soldier was silent, and grasped his gun more 
firmly. 

The boat sped on, and the rat behind it. Ugh ! how he showed 
his teeth, as he cried to the chips of wood and straw : ' Hold him, 
hold him ! he has not paid the toll ! He has not shown his pass- 
port ! ' 

But the current became swifter and stronger. The Tin- soldier 
could already see daylight where the tunnel ended ; but in his ears 
there sounded a roaring enough to frighten any brave man. Only 
think ! at the end of the tunnel the gutter discharged itself into a 
great canal ; that would be just as dangerous for him as it would be 
for us to go down a waterfall. 

Now he was so near to it that he could not hold on any longer. 
On went the boat, the poor Tin-soldier keeping himself as stiff as 
he could : no one should say of him afterwards that he had flinched. 
The boat whirled three, four times round, and became filled to 
the brim with water : it began to sink 1 The Tin-soldier was stand- 
ing up to his neck in water, and deeper and deeper sank the boat, 
and softer and softer grew the paper ; now the water was over his 
head. He was thinking of the pretty little Dancer, whose face he 
should never see again, and there sounded in his ears, over and 
over again : 

' Forward, forward, soldier bold ! 
Death's before thee, grim and cold ! ' 

The paper came in two, and the soldier fell — but at that moment 
he was swallowed by a great fish. 

Oli ! how dark it was inside, even darker than in the tunnel, and 
it was really very close quarters ! But there the steadfast little 
Tin-soldier lay full length, shouldering his gun. 

Up and down swam the fish, then he made the most dreadful 
contortions, and became suddenly quite still. Then it was as if a 
Hash of lightning had passed through him ; the daylight streamed 
in, and a voice exclaimed, ' Why, hero is the little Tin-soldier I ' 
The fish had been caught, taken to market, sold, and brought into 
the kitchen, where the cook had cut it open with a great knife. She 
took up the soldier between her finger and thumb, and carried him 

A A2 



312 



THE STEADFAST TIN-SOLDIEB 



fiJM 



into the room, where everyone wanted to see the hero who had 
been found inside a fish ; but the Tin-soldier was not at all proud. 
They put him on the table, and— no, but what strange things do 
happen in this world !— the Tin-soldier was in the same room in 
which he had been before ! He saw the same children, and the same 
toys on the table ; and there was the same grand castle with the 
pretty little Dancer. She was still standing on one leg with the 
other high in the air ; she too was stead- 
fast. That touched the Tin-soldier, he 
was nearly going to shed tin-tears; but 
that would not have been fitting for a 
soldier. He looked at her, but she said 
nothing. 

All at once one of the little boys took 
up the Tin-soldier, and threw him into 
the stove, giving no reasons ; but doubt- 
less the little black imp in the snuff-box 
was at the bottom of this too. 

There the Tin-soldier lay, and feit a 
heat that was truly terrible ; but whether 
he was suffering from actual fire, or from 
the ardour of his passion, he did not 
know. All his colour had disappeared; 
whether this had happened on his travels 
or whether it was the result of trouble, 
who can say? He looked at the little 
lady, she looked at him, and he felt that 
he was melting ; but he remained stead- 
fast, with his gun at his shoulder. Suddenly a door opened, the 
draught caught up the little Dancer, and off she flew like a sylph 
to the Tin-soldier in the stove, burst into flames — and that was the 
end of her ! Then the Tin-soldier melted down into a little lump, 
and when next morning the maid was taking out the ashes, she 
found him in the shape of a heart. There was nothing left of the 
little Dancer but her gilt rose, burnt as black as a cinder. 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



313 



BLOCKHEAD-HANS 



FAR away in the country lay an old manor-house where lived an 
old squire who had two sons. They thought themselves so 
clever, that if they had known only half of what they did know, it 
would have been quite enough. They both wanted to marry the 
King's daughter, for she had proclaimed that she would have for 
her husband the man who knew best how to choose his words. 

Both prepared for the wooing a whole week, which was the 
longest time allowed them ; but, after all, it was quite long enough, 
for they both had preparatory knowledge, and everyone knows how 
useful that is. One knew the whole Latin dictionary and also three 
years' issue of the daily paper of the town off by heart, so that he 
could repeat it all backwards or forwards as you pleased. The other 
had worked at the laws of corporation, and knew by heart what 
every member of the corporation ought to know, so that he thought 
he could quite well speak on State matters and give his opinion. 
lie understood, besides this, how to embroider braces with roses 
and other flowers, and scrolls, for he was very ready with his 
fingers. 

'I shall win the king's daughter ! ' they both cried. 

Their old father gave each of them a line horse ; the one who 
knew the dictionary and the daily paper by heart had a black horse, 
while the other who was so clever at corporation law had a milk- 
white one. Then they oiled the corners of their mouths so that 
they might be able to speak more fluently. All tho servants stood 
in tho courtyard and saw them mount their steeds, and here by 
chance came tho third brother ; for the squire had three sons, but 
nobody counted him with his brothers, for he was not so learned as 
they were, and he was generally called ' Blockhead-IIans.' 

' Oh, oh ! ' said Blockhead-Hans. ' AVhero are you off to? You 
are in your Sunday-best clothes ! ' 

1 We are going to Court, to w*oo the Princess t t)on't you know 



314 



BLOCKHEAD-HANS 



what is known throughout all the country side ? ' And they told 
him all about it. 

' Hurrah ! I'll go to ! ' cried Blockhead- Hans ; and the brothers 
laughed at him and rode off. 

1 Dear father ! ' cried Blockhead-Hans, « I must have a horse 
too. What a desire for marriage has seized me ! If she will have 
me, she will have me, and if she won't have me, I will have her.' 

1 Stop that nonsense ! ' said the old man. ' I will not give you a 
horse. You can't speak ; you don't know how to choose your words. 
Your brothers ! Ah ! they are very different lads ! ' 




-then -they, oiledl • 
I the- corners -of -their -mo uths 



' Well,' said Blockhead-Hans, ' if I can't have a horse, I will 
take the goat which is mine ; he can carry me 1 ' 

And he did so. He sat astride on the goat, struck his heels into 
its side, and went rattling down the high-road like a hurricane. 

Hoppetty hop ! what a ride ! ' Here I come ! ' shouted Block- 
head-Hans, singing so that the echoes were roused far and near. 
But his brothers were riding slowly in front. They were not 
speaking, but they were thinking over all the good things they were 
going to say, for everything had to be thought out. 

1 Hullo 1 ' bawled Blockhead Hans, ' here I am 1 Just look what 



BLOCKHEAD-HANS 315 

I found on the road ! ' — and he showed them a dead crow which ho 
had picked up. 

' Blockhead ! ' said his brothers, ' what are you going to do with 
it?' 

* With the crow ? I shall give it to the Princess ! * 

* Do so, certainly ! ' they said, laughing loudly and riding on. 

1 Slap ! bang ! here I am again ! Look what I have just found ) 
You don't find such things every day on the road ! ' 




And the brothers turned round to see what in the world ho could 
have found. 

1 Blockhead ! ' said they, ' that is an old wooden shoe without 
the top ! Arc you going to send that, too, to the Princess? ' 

' Of course I shall ! ' returned Blockhead -Hans ; and the brothers 
laughed and rode on a good way. 

( Slap ! bang ! here I am ! ' cried Blockhead-IIans ; r better and 
better-it is really famous i ' jy MiCH 

1 What have you found now ? ' asked the brothers. 



816 BLOCKHEAD-HANS 

' Oh,' said Blockhead-Hans, ' it is really too good ! How 
pleased the Princess will be ! ' 

' Why ! ' said the brothers, ' this is pure mud, straight from the 
ditch.' 

* Of course it is ! * said Blockhead-Hans, * and it is the best kind ! 
Look how it runs through one's fingers ! ' and, so saying, he filled 
his pocket with the mud. 

But the brothers rode on so fast that dust and sparks flew all 
around, and they reached the gate of the town a good hour before 
Blockhead-Hans. Here came the suitors numbered according to 
their arrival, and they were ranged in rows, sis in each row, and 
they were so tightly packed that they could not move their arms. 
This was a very good thing, for otherwise they would have torn 
each other in pieces, merely because the one was in front of the 
other. 

All the country people were standing round the King's throne, 
and were crowded together in thick masses almost out of the 
windows to see the Princess receive the suitors ; and as each one 
came into the room all his fine phrases went out like a candle ! 

* It doesn't matter ! ' said the Princess. ' Away ! out with him ! ' 
At last she came to the row in which the brother who knew the 

dictionary by heart was, but he did not know it any longer ; he had 
quite forgotten it in the rank and file. And the floor creaked, and 
the ceiling was all made of glass mirrors, so that he saw himself 
standing on his head, and by each window were standing three 
reporters and an editor ; and each of them was writing down what 
was said, to publish it in the paper that came out and was sold at 
the street corners for a penny. It was fearful, and they had made 
up the fire so hot that it was grilling. 

* It is hot in here, isn't it ! ' said the suitor. 

' Of course it is ! My father is roasting young chickens to-day ! ' 
said the Princess. 

' Ahem ! ' There he stood like an idiot. He was not prepared 
for such a speech; he did not know what to say, although he wanted 
to say something witty. ' Ahem ! ' 

' It doesn't matter ! ' said the Princess. ' Take him out ! ' and 
out he had to go. 

Now the other brother entered. 

' How hot it is ! ' he said. 

* Of course ! We are roasting young chickens to-day ! ' remarked 
the Princess. D/flf/f/Z€ 



BLOCKHEAD-HANS 



317 



* How do you -urn ! ' lie said, and the reporters wrote down. 
* How do you — urn.' 

* It doesn't matter ! ' said the Princess. ' Take him out ! ' 
Now Blockhead-Hans came in ; he rode his goat right into the 

hall. 

* I say 1 How roasting hot it is here ! ' said he. 

' Of course ! I am roasting young chickens to-day ! ' said the 
Princess. 

'That's good!' replied Blockhead-Hans; 'then can I roast a 
crow with them ? * 

'With the greatest of pleasure ! ' said the Princess; 'but havo 



2teacK droned, 
a Mot of inKj 



neatly 

done ' 






I*. 4 




you anything you can roast them in ? for I have neither pot nor 
saucepan.' 

'Oh, rather! ' said Blockhead-Hans. 'Here is a cooking im- 
plement with tin rings/ and he drew out the old wooden shoe, 
and laid the crow in it. 

' That is quite a meal ! ' said the Princess ; ' but where shall we 
get the soup from ? ' 

4 I've got that in my pocket ! ' said Blockhead-Hans. ' I have so 
much that I can quite well throw some away! ' and he poured some 

mud out of h\ s p$ffij zed by Microsoft ® 

' I like you ! ' said the TrincCss. '\ou can answer, and you can 



318 BLOCKHEAD-HANS 

speak, and I will marry you ; but do you know that every word 
which we are saying and have said has been taken down and will 
be in the paper to-morrow ? By each window do you see there are 
standing three reporters and an old editor, and this old editor is the 
worst, for he doesn't understand anything ! * but she only said this 
to tease Blockhead-Hans. And the reporters giggled, and each 
dropped a blot of ink on the floor. 

' Ah ! are those the great people ? * said Blockhead-Hans. ' Then 
I will give the editor the best ! ' So saying, he turned his pockets 
inside out, and threw the mud right in his face. 

' That was neatly done ! * said the Princess. ' I couldn't have 
done it ; but I will soon learn how to ! ' 

Blockhead-Hans became King, got a wife and a crown, and sat 
on the throne ; and this we have still damp from the newspaper of 
the editor and the reporters — and they are not to be believed for a 
moment. 



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319 



A STOBY ABOUT A DARNING-NEEDLE 



rpiIERE was once a Darning-needle who thought herself so fino 
J- that she believed she was an embroidery-needle. 'Take great 
care to hold me tight ! ' said the Darning-needle to the Fingers who 
were holding her. ' Don't let me fall ! If I once fall on the ground 
I shall never be found again, I am so fine ! ' 

' It is all right ! ' said the Fingers, seizing her round the waist. 

' Look, I am coming with my train ! ' said the Darning-needle 
as she drew a long thread after her; but there was no knot at the 
end of the thread. 

The Fingers were using the needle on the cook's shoe. The 
upper leather was unstitched and had to be sewn together. 

'This is common work!' said the Darning-needle. 'I shall 
never get through it. I am breaking ! I am breaking ! ' And in 
fact she did break. ' Didn't I toll you so ! ' said the Darning-needle. 
' I am too fine ! ' 

'Now she is good for nothing ! ' said the Fingers ; but they had 
to hold her tight while the cook dropped some sealing-wax on the 
needle and sk.ck it in the front of her dress. 

' Now I am a breast-pin ! ' said the Darning-needle. ' I always 
knew I should be promoted. "When one is something, one will 
become something ! ' And she laughed to herself; you can never 
see when a Darning-needle is laughing. Then she sat up as proudly 
as if she were in a State coach, and looked all round her. 

'May I be allowed to ask if you are gold?' she said to her 
neighbour, the Pin. ' You have a very nice appearance, and a 
peculiar head ; but it is too small ! You must take pains to make 
it grow, for it is not everyone who has a head of sealing-wax. 1 
And so saying the Darning-needle raised herself up so proudly that 
she fell out of the dress, right into the sink which the cook was 
rinsing out. 

' Now I am off on my travels ! ' said iho Darning-needle. ' I do 
hope I sha'n't get lost ! ' She did indeed get lost. 



320 A STORY ABOUT A DARNING-NEEDLE 

1 I am too fine for this world ! ' said she as she lay in the gutter ; 
' but I know who I am, and that is always a little satisfaction ! ' 

' And the Darning-needle kept her proud bearing and did not 
lose her good-temper. 

All kinds of things swam over her — shavings, bits of straw, and 
scraps of old newspapers. 

'Just look how they sail along! 1 said the Darning-needle. 
' They don't know what is underneath them! Here I am sticking 
fast ! There goes a shaving thinking of nothing in the world but 
of itself, a mere chip ! There goes a straw — well, how it does twist 
and twirl, to be sure ! Don't think so much about yourself, or you 
will be knocked against a stone. There floats a bit of newspaper. 
What is written on it is long ago forgotten, and yet how proud it is ! 
I am sitting patient and quiet. I know who I am, and that is 
enough for me ! ' 

One day something thick lay near her which glittered so brightly 
that the Darning-needle thought it must be a diamond. But it was 
a bit of bottle-glass, and because it sparkled the Darning-needle 
spoke to it, and gave herself out as a breast-pin. 

* No doubt you are a diamond ? ' 

' Yes, something of that kind ! ' And each believed that the 
other was something very costly ; and they both said how very 
proud the world must be of them. 

' I have come from a lady's work-box,' said Darning-needle, 
( and this lady was a cook ; she had five fingers on each hand ; any- 
thing so proud as these fingers I have never seen ! And yet they 
were only there to take me out of the work-box and to put me back 
again ! ' 

' Were they of noble birth, then ? ' asked the bit of bottle-glass. 

' Of noble birth ! ' said the Darning-needle ; ' no indeed, btit 
proud ! They were five brothers, all called " Fingers." They held 
themselves proudly one against the other, although they were of 
different sizes. The outside one, the Thumb, was short and fat ; 
he was outside the rank, and had only one bend in his back, and 
could only make one bow ; but he said that if he were cut off from 
a man that he was no longer any nse as a soldier. Dip-into- 
everything, the second finger, dipped into sweet things as well as 
sour things, pointed to the sun and the moon, and guided the pen 
when they wrote. Longman, the third, looked at the others over 
his shoulder. Goldband, the ftrarth, had a gold sash round his 
waist ; and little Flayman did nothing at all, and was the more 
proud. There was too much ostentation, and so I came away.' 



A STORY ABOUT A DARNING-NEEDLE 321 

' And now we are sitting and shknng here ! ' said the bit of 
bottle-glass. 

At that moment more water came into the gutter; it streamed 
over the edges and washed the bit of bottle-glass away. 

* Ah ! now he has been promoted ! ' said the Darning-needle. 
* I remain here ; I am too fine. But that is my pride, which is a 
sign of respectability ! ' And she sat there very proudly, thinking 
lofty thoughts. 

' I really believe I must have been born a sunbeam, I am so fine ! 
It seems to me as if the sunbeams were always looking under the 
water for me. Ah, I am so fine that my own mother cannot find 
me ! If I had my old eye which broke off, I believe I could weep ; 
but I can't — it is not fine to weep ! ' 

One day two street-iir chins were playing and wading in the 
gutter, picking up old nails, pennies, and such things. It was rather 
dirty work, but it was a great delight to them. 

* Oh, oh ! * cried out one, as he pricked himself with the 
Darning-needle ; ' he is a fine fellow though ! ' 

' I am not a fellow ; I am a young lady ! ' said the Darning- 
needle ; but no one heard. The sealing-wax had gone, and she had 
become quite black; but black makes one look very slim, and so 
she thought she was even finer than before. 

' Here comes an egg-shell sailing along ! ' said the boys, and 
they stuck the Darning-needle into the egg-shell. 

1 The walls white and I black — what a pretty contrast it makes ! ' 
said the Darning-needle. ' Now I can be seen to advantage ! If 
only I am not sea-sick ! I should give myself up for lost ! ' 

But she was not sea-sick, and did not give herself up. 

* It is a good thing to be steeled against sea-sickness ; bore one 
has indeed an advantage over man ! Now my qualms arc over. 
The finer one is the more one can bear.' 

* Crack ! ' said the egg-shell as a wagon -wheel went over it. 

' Oh ! how it presses ! ' said the Darning-needle. ' I shall indeed 
be sea-sick now. I am breaking ! ' But she did not bre-ak, although 
the wagon-wheel went over her ; she lay there at full length, and 
there she may lie* 

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With 18 Plates (1G of which arc coloured) and 549 Illustrations 
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ICrown 8vo. gilt edges, Cs. net. 

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(BRITISH) 

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With 12 Coloured Plates and 241 Illustrations in the Text. 

Crown Svo. gilt edges, Gs. net. 

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By W. H. HUDSON 

With a Chapter on Structure and Classification by Frank E. Reddard 

F.U.8. Wi'h 16 Plates (8 of wtich are coloured) and over 

100 Illustrations in the Text. 

Crown Svo. gilt edges, Gs. net. 

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PONDS AND STREAMS 

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With 8 Coloured Plates and 331 Illustrations in the Text, 



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With 8 Coloured Plates and 300 Illustrations in the Text. 

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